Project: UCLan Student Centre & University Square
Location: Preston
Lead Architects: Hawkins\Brown

Budget: £10,000

Site Programme: 36 months
Service: Public Art Sub-Consultant
Artists (2 of 4): Jonny Randall and Tom Diffenthall (Filmmakersu)

Awards: NW Regional Construction Awards 2021: ‘Lancashire Sub-Regional Project of the Year Award’

Schüco Excellence Awards 2021 : Education and Health with the project’s structural and technical prowess applauded

RIBA North West Award 2023 : The jury the new Student Centre and University Square redefined the interaction between the University and city of Preston – with an impressive approach to sustainability being a BREEAM Excellent and EPC A-rated.

Commissioned by University of Central Lancashire (UClan) to work as a sub-consultant under lead architects Hawkins\Brown, from 2017 Atoll helped develop an integrated public art strategy linked to the £60m Student Centre and University Square now built in Preston as part of the UCLan Masterplan – all completed in 2021 despite Covid-19. See a video timelapse of the entire construction process here.

A number of artist commissions evolved out of that strategy following the earlier Testbed commission. The residencies were developed in consultation with a public art steering group involving various stakeholders. As part of these commissions, the film short Adelphi is a 15 minute ‘creative documentaty’ was created as a collaborative residency between filmmakers Jonny Randall and Tom Diffenthall and was completed during the early construction phase to help inform the public art strategy like Testbed . Their film was intended as both a design and cultural prompt to the new public space, (then called Adelphi Square) being created outside of the new Uclan Student Centre. The film looked to spark discussions about what the future holds for any new public square – and particularly in terms of its aspiration to become a truly shared space, welcoming both university and wider city communities.

Blog Preston along with In Certain Places (ICP) hosted a live launch of Adelphi in July 2020 with one of the filmmakers, Jonny Randall, and Charles Quick – who is Professor of Public Art Practice at UCLan and co-curator of In Certain Places. As well as premiering the film, Jonny and Charles answered questions from Blog Preston and viewers at home. Both the film and the Blog Preston Q&A launch can be viewed below or from the ICP link here.

'Adelphi' film by Jonny Randall and Tom Diffenthal from In Certain Places on Vimeo.

Now that both Student Centre and Square are complete, only time will tell….but in the meantime, November 2021 saw Uclan Student Centre and Adelphi (University) Square win the ‘Lancashire Sub-Regional Project of the Year Award’ at the 15th annual North West Regional Construction Awards.

Categories: Public Art

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