We were one of three finalists in this 2006 invited competition to design Phase 1 of a new campus for the University of York, Heslington East. The new campus is 15 minutes walk from the main campus, which was built in the 1960’s to a masterplan by RMJM. The new campus provided an opportunity to create a different kind of learning and research environment, based on a mix of student accommodation, research facilities and academic buildings, and including ‘Complex X’ - the first inter departmental academic building comprising an expanded Schools of Computer Science and Electronics and a new research-led Theatre, Film and TV department.

Complex X would be an innovative and sustainable group of buildings encouraging teaching, learning, research, business development, contributing and sharing of ideas and knowledge from different disciplines.

Our ideas were based on shells and the sea shore. We saw the buildings in Complex X as separate but connecting buildings beginning with public spaces and facilities at ground floor,specialist teaching and research at first floor and more ‘private’ administration and staff areas at second floor.

The ground floor would link the three departments of Complex X under a multi level central atrium space with link bridges at upper level, creating a busy hub of meeting, teaching / learning spaces, seminar rooms and workshops shared between the various departments, with different age groups mixing, interacting at chance meetings and promoting the sharing of ideas and knowledge.

The commission was awarded to BDP and construction is now complete.