Uclan Student Centre

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

Contractors: Bowmer + Kirkland

Artwork Budget: £10,000

Site Programme: 36 months
Service: Public Art Sub-Consultant
Artists (3 of 4): Bonnie Craig (Pattern Artist & Designer )

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

Commissioned by University of Central Lancashire (UClan) to work as a sub-consultant under lead architects Hawkins\Brown, since 2017, Atoll have been developing an integrated public art strategy linked to the £60m Student Centre and University Square being built in Preston as part of the UCLan Masterplan and is still due to complete in 2021 despite Covid-19.

A number of artist commissions have evolved out of that strategy following the earlier Testbed commission. These residencies have been developed in consultation with a public art steering group involving various stakeholders.

As part of these commissions, local pattern artist and designer Bonnie Craig has been commissioned to develop some interior artworks to some of the interior glazing around the new Student Centre. Applied glass ‘manifestation’ is traditionally used to serve a functional purpose – including privacy screening, health & safety warnings and graphic advertising. In this commission, the artworks in some cases do serve a privacy function, but are also seen as dynamically bold and graphic applied arts in their own right. The designs also pick up on one of the lead architect Hawkins\Browns original design philosophies: Their analogy of ‘weft & weave’ both alluded to Preston’s textile history going back to the Industrial Revolution, as well as the careful assimilation of architecture into the community, and helped them win the original design competition.

Bonnie’s beautiful patterning has been created collaboratively with the artist working initially with Atoll’s assistance alongside client UClan, lead architects Hawkins\Brown and Contractors Bowmer + Kirkland.

In November 2021 at the 15th annual North West Regional Construction Awards, Uclan Student Centre and University Square won the ‘Lancashire Sub-Regional Project of the Year Award’, and “The judges particularly liked the use of materials that reduced embodied carbon whilst still fully meeting client brief.”

Categories: Public Art

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