University of Wolverhampton: a growing and ambitious university with multiple sites across the Midlands
We were commissioned by University of Wolverhampton to create a university wide landscape strategy, taking in three campuses in Wolverhampton city centre, Telford and Walsall.
The masterplans focus on the creation of a cohesive identity across the university as a whole, with bespoke approaches drawing out the individual characters of each campus, which have been subject to extensive staff and student consultation.
A wide range of specific individual detailed design projects have been identified to deliver the masterplan objectives, which are currently in production.
The City Campus identity was centred on its civic nature, proximity to busy urban hubs and links with the historic city core. The overall landscape masterplan centred on pulling together the disparate sections of the campus into a cohesive and legible experience. Focusing on the pedestrian use of space, and the provision of a main spine offset from the campus on the west side, the landscape proposals promote the use of green space nodes and courtyards to uplift spirit and promote health and wellbeing. Rationalisation of parking, identifying buildings that require replacement and integrating surrounding landowners / stakeholders were key considerations for the landscape masterplan.
The Walsall identity was clear from the outset of the exercise. Heavily linked with performance and sport, the theme of ‘play’ seemed a clear choice. Much of the approach to the landscape centred on rationalising parking and key entrances, creating a legible landscape that provides a sequence of spaces which link the experience and uplift the spirit. Once this framework was established, we could integrate key ideas such as a play hub to enliven and activate the Performance Hub frontage, and a trail around the perimeter of the campus for health and wellbeing.
Telford has a historical aspect that has defined the campus since it became part of the University of Wolverhampton. Combined with a strong engineering offer, it has a growing identity around industry and innovation. Coupled with this, there was a strong feeling following consultation that the campus needed a bold concept to create a heart space around which the legibility and sense of place could be built.