Sports and leisure specialists encourage universities to embrace mixed-use campuses at HEE forum event

SPECIALISTS from architecture and sports & leisure firm LK2 took to the stage at the higher education estates (hee) forum this month to discuss what’s new in cutting edge learning environments and how universities can complete the student experience through enhancing their campuses.

The event, held at the University of Warwick, brought together university estates and facilities professionals, colleges, architects, contractors, project managers, M&E consultants and manufacturers and suppliers delivering projects in the higher education sector.

Director Tracey Francis and senior architect Thomas Baines looked to inform attendees about the opportunities available to universities in developing mixed-use campuses that offer more than traditional learning spaces.  

Tracey said: “Universities need to create strategies that are flexible and they must ensure that their spaces and strategies align, this often means that they need to change their approach when it comes to campus design. 

“The needs of students have changed from ways of learning to leisure, lifestyle and sport meaning spaces have more requirements and demands than ever before. Student expectations are much higher than they have been in the past and, universities must provide a holistic offer in order to attract and retain students.”

LK2 works to blend together the traditional with innovation and creativity, its team works to tap into every level and sector.

 LK2’s team has won a number of awards for their work in transforming campuses, with its impressive £2.2m redevelopment of Constance Stewart Hall at Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU) recently taking home the coveted ‘Outstanding Project’ and ‘Best Commercial Project’ awards at the Lincoln Good Design Awards 2019.

Thomas added: “We are integrally linked in the commercial and sport sectors, and can maximise opportunities for universities in unlocking external funding, grant aid, and new and creative business partnerships.

“We firmly believe universities need to become consumer friendly businesses meeting the needs of young, ambitious millennials with high expectations, and diverse needs and aspirations for their university life.”

The hee forum took place from 21 to 22 March at Warwick University, Coventry.

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