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Working in partnership with Reiach and Hall Architects for the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, we completed the first scheme of the university’s campus masterplan. The Engineering Innovation Centre (EIC) addresses two new civic squares and presents a dramatic open expression to the city with a single sided atrium facing the proposed civic square. The design of the building was steered by an ethos of interaction, engagement and creativity, seeking opportunities for blended learning across the engineering disciplines.

The new building provides space for undergraduates to use state of the art facilities in a high-quality learning environment. It houses space for engagement with industry and creates an environment in which industry, researchers, academics and undergraduate users are encouraged to establish long-term partnerships and teams. Public accessibility features strongly, promoting the University’s commitment to engage and explain its activities, involve the public in the design and development of key academic and research initiatives, engage with industry networks, and deliver its commitment to responsible innovation.

A key concept from early inception was the expression of the building structure, ‘the engineering of the building’, becomes the architecture. Placing the structural frame on the outside of the building projects the structure in front of the veil of the glazed external envelope. Revealing the structure in this way promotes the building itself as an educational tool.

Project information

  • Client

    University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN)

  • Status


  • Area

    7,066 sq m

  • Start


  • Completion


  • Consultants

    Structural Engineer: BDP
    Building Services Engineer: BDP
    Contractor: BAM Construct
    Cost Consultant: AA Projects
    Fire Engineer: Tenos

  • Elements

    Teaching space for 85 academics
    Catering for 650 undergraduates
    Specialist engineering equipment space
    Computer suites/labs
    Research and industry engagement spaces
    Social Learning and breakout spaces
    A ‘coffee house’ style catering outlet
    BREEAM “Excellent” rating

  • Awards

    2020 BCI Awards Social Infrastructure Project of the Year- Shortlisted
    2020 Scottish Design Awards Best Education Building or Project- Winner
    2019 Specifi Building Services of the Year
    2019 Structural Awards North West Medium Project- Finalist

Core Team


Client Testimonial

Michael Ahern, Chief Operating Officer

University of Central Lancashire

"A true flagship development for the city, the EIC will be a powerful hub for developing and nurturing talent that will help the UK retain its place as a leader in engineering and innovation."