A new model university in the ‘Smart City’, Milton Keynes (MK), MK:U is intended to transform thinking about higher education.
MK:U will create an environment where innovation is a given and where students can learn alongside business mentors and in business situations.
Through its ambitious curriculum focused on digital economy skills, MK:U will honour the innovative spirit of nearby Bletchley Park and further MK’s pioneering work in ‘Big Data’, transport innovation and urban design.
Headline subjects include robotics and artificial intelligence; digital and cyber; smart cities; business and entrepreneurship; and design thinking.
Benefiting from a prominent 10-hectare site, the last major undeveloped site in the city centre, MK:U will have an exceptionally strong relationship to MK because the city’s long-term future depends on retaining and attracting talent.
Through a ‘living lab’ approach, MK’s citizens and businesses will be able to participate in the university’s research, education and social activities and contribute to its students’ learning.
An international team led by London-based Hopkins Architects was unanimously selected as the winner of this two-stage competition.
Jurors were persuaded by the clarity and confidence of the concept design, as well as the team’s collaborative approach to creating exceptional higher educational buildings.
Councillor Pete Marland, Leader of Milton Keynes Council, said:
‘Hopkins impressed the jury with their concept design for MK:U, but we also admired their attitude and their range of work, most recently at Harvard. MK:U will be a huge asset for Milton Keynes and the next chapter in our development.’