Campus Design Guidelines Development
Faced with achieving a coherent and coordinated design for a programme of projects of over £4bn spread over a site the size of Hyde Park, Mike Forster, in his role a Development and Design Directorfor the programme, led the ﬁnal delivery a set of Campus Design guidelines that provided a comprehensive design brief to the many designers on the programme.
This was a vital piece of briefing material since at least five different firms of architects were engaged on different parts of the programme at any one time and, in addition, there were landscape architects, product designers etc. also involved.
The design guidelines had been in development for a number of years and needed to be completed and issued to the project and statutory authorities as a matter of urgency. They were structured on four levels.
Level 1 set out the Design Vision for the programme, the values which would should govern decision-making on the project and the key design principles. Level 2 captured the design strategies in relation to the main elements of the project, Level 3 the primary concepts in response to those strategies, and Level 4 common components.
Rooting the guidelines in the Design Vision ensured that design in its entirety focused on achieving a common outcome. Values are important in decision-making and provide a touchstone to guide both designers and approvers in any design exercise.
Through a set of interactive workshops involving the programme leadership the four key values of being responsive, being simple, coherent and clear, being responsible and being appropriate in style and quality, were developed.These led to a set of principles which guided design development across the whole campus.
Level 2 Design strategies took each element of the programme, such as the external spaces, the interiors, the landscaping etc and developed an individual vision and strategies to deliver the outcome. Level 3 was the response to the strategies and provided designers with the key concepts they should follow. An example of this was the principal alignment of key elements of the masterplan in the North/South orientation of the site.
Establishing the strategies, concepts and the identification of common components such as cladding systems, landscaping details and components, lig ht ﬁttings, floor finishes etc enabled designers to deliver a common look and feel right across the site.
A major and principal beneﬁt ofthis approach was to be able to explain to the local authority responsible for granting planning permission how the many buildings on the campus worked together to deliver a coherent whole.
For most campuses of this size detailed permissions are granted progressively and, without this form of co- ordinative planning, the authority would not be able to understand the intention behind early submissions.