Portland Square
In Brief

University of Plymouth


Construction Value:

July 2003

Portland Square is a bold intervention in the urban landscape of the University and the city of Plymouth. It creates a series of open spaces, each with its own identity, and dramatically improves the previous antisocial quality of the landscape.

We were appointed following competitive interview to develop a scheme which would form a key phase in the development of the University and create a new landmark at one of the main entrances to the campus.

Portland Square provides new science and technology facilities, including the Peninsula Medical School. The brief was to create a building that was inherently flexible in order to accommodate the increasing need for adaptability within Higher Education buildings.

Our design solution was to create a plinth of teaching accommodation surmounted by spaces for academic facilities and research groups.

The internal atria bring natural lighting and ventilation into the work spaces and provide a communal identity to each of the three building blocks. The strategy was based on the University’s idea that sharing space leads to sharing of ideas. The University had a strong environmental brief which led the design team to focus on minimising the requirements for air conditioning and mechanical ventilation, reducing heating requirements and maximising the use of natural light.

Selected Awards

2004 RIBA Regional Award: Shortlisted

Quote Image
A significant impact on the 19th Century urban fabric of North Hill and the adjacent Sherwell Church.
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