Five finalist teams have been selected in the MK:U International Design Competition to create alternative masterplan visions for a proposed new model university in the United Kingdom. The proposed new university, will focus on digital economy skills and practical, business-oriented courses; it also plans to offer fast-track two-year degrees. MK:U, a partnership between MKC and Cranfield University, will use the new University Quarter and the wider city as a ‘living lab’ to test out new concepts and ideas while inspiring students and citizens. Benefiting from the last major undeveloped site in the city center, and mixing university facilities with public spaces, MK:U will be open 24/7 to the wider community. The first stage of the competition, which launched in January 2019, attracted 53 team submissions comprising 257 individual firms from across the globe. The five finalist design teams who reached the second stage were asked to submit concept designs for phase one (construction budget approximately £188 m), including a masterplan and key buildings for the 10-hectare city centre site, and for 61,120 sqm of built area.
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