Published: 19 December 2023 at 17:00
National awards recognise projects that contribute to their local communities
ARU Peterborough could follow in the footsteps of some of the UK’s most celebrated construction projects after being named as a 2024 Civic Trust Awards regional finalist.
Established in 1959, the Civic Trust Awards are the longest running awards of their kind in Europe and recognise “outstanding architecture, planning and design in the built environment”, with a particular focus on how developments contribute to their local communities.
Previous winners of Civic Trust Awards include the London 2012 Olympic Velodrome, the Severn Bridge connecting south Wales and the south west of England, the Royal Festival Hall in London, and the Scottish Parliament building in Edinburgh.
ARU Peterborough is one of only three projects from across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to be shortlisted as a Civic Trust Award regional finalist this year – the others being the Mill House residential development in Cambridge, and the University of Cambridge’s Passivhaus student accommodation at Lucy Cavendish College.
ARU Peterborough’s nomination is for University House, the first phase of Peterborough’s new university, which welcomed its first students in September 2022.
Cambridge-based MCW architects, winners of the Higher Education Architect of the Year award at the BD Awards in October, designed the three-storey building to reflect the values of Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), offering open access to the community, cross disciplinary collaborative spaces, and visibility of learning, with classrooms and labs facing out towards to the city.
University House has transformed the former brownfield site into a green, sustainable campus. The £30million building features Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS) to support local biodiversity, fossil fuel-free heat and hot water generation, a green roof with photovoltaics, and aluminium solar shading inspired by the design of Peterborough Cathedral’s ceiling.
The development of ARU Peterborough is continuing with the current construction of the third phase of the university, also designed by MCW architects, featuring additional teaching facilities and a public science space.
Professor Ross Renton, Principal of ARU Peterborough, said:
Lien Geens, Associate Director of MCW architects, said:
ARU Peterborough is a partnership between Peterborough City Council, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority and Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), which was recently named Times Higher Education University of the Year 2023.
Councillor Peter Hiller, Cabinet Member for Housing, Growth and Regeneration at Peterborough City Council, said:
Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Dr Nik Johnson said:
Alongside the national Civic Trust Awards, regional finalists can also be considered for Pro Tem Awards, Selwyn Goldsmith Awards or AABC Conservation Awards. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in March 2024.
IMAGE CREDIT: Richard Fraser Photography