Ulster University
In Brief

Ulster University


Construction value: 

Ulster University’s Greater Belfast Development heralds a move from its 1970’s suburban Jordanstown campus into Belfast’s busy city centre. This marks a watershed shift in UK university development trends and our aim with this new campus is to bring something genuinely fresh and forward-looking to the city.

As Lead Architect on this vibrant new landmark project, FCBStudios’ proposals feature three new University buildings providing 73,000 square meters of academic accommodation in Belfast’s Scotch and Cathedral Quarter - an important emerging cultural district.

The sculptural articulation of the buildings takes its inspiration from the beauty of the surrounding Antrim Hills and Lough Nature Reserve.

We have used these city surroundings as a device to respond to the site’s adverse urban context, which is marked by a low 19th century scale and 20th century highways infrastructure.

The layout and design of these new buildings will provide learning environments that will be ‘long life and loose fit’ to allow for changing needs and new adaptations around a series of dramatic interior atrium spaces.

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The site is next to the Ulster University’s existing architecture college, adjacent to districts once regularly in the news during the violence of the Troubles. Increasing the University’s presence by 15,000 students and staff on this site will ensure the up-and-coming cultural quarter thrives, and will foster wide-scale urban regeneration in the city and environs.

Belfast is the only industrial city in both Northern and Southern Ireland, and in reference to this unique heritage, the new buildings will be clad in vernacular materials including red brick and white limestone.

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"The granting of planning permission for the £250m City Campus will usher in a thrilling new chapter in the development of the University, the city and the region - providing a state of the art teaching and learning facility for future students"
Professor Richard Barnett, Vice-Chancellor Ulster University
"This will be an open and accessible campus without iron gates or surrounding walls. We are keen that the entire community views this as their building, as their gateway into the city centre and not just the preserve of academics and students"
Professor Richard Barnett, Vice-Chancellor Ulster University
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Design Approach
The focus of campus is a sequence of integrated main routes, pedestrian streets and varied public spaces.

The new university will stitch into the historic fabric of the city to combine social, retail and flexible learning spaces around new and enhanced streets and squares.

The University’s six faculties will be positioned one next to another to spark creative debate and innovation between disciplines. Associated corporate and teaching facilities will include classrooms, lecture theatres, specialist labs and workshops, academic and departmental space, a library, student hubs and support services, and catering facilities. The lower floors will be open to the public.

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The project is being designed to attain a rating of BREEAM Excellent. Our plans feature large north-facing atria ushering light deep into the plan of the building, avoiding glare and reducing lighting loads. A high performance façade will reduce energy consumption, supported by a large photovoltaic array on the roof of the three new blocks. The green and brown roof is being designed to improve the ecological value of the site and provide a visual focus for occupants of the campus and the wider city.

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Ulster University
Lead Architect:
Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
Local Architect Partner:
McAdam Design
Civil, Structural, MEP Engineers:
Mott MacDonald
Project Managers:
Currie & Brown
Project Managers:
WH Stephens
Cost Consultants:
EC Harris
Faithful & Gould
BREEAM Consultants:
Transport Planning:

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