Plans are advancing for the £250 million new development planned for the Belfast campus of The University of Ulster.
The plans consist of four new interlinked buildings located on York Street, Fredrick Street and Donegall Street which will be built around the existing campus and eventually become home to 15,000 students and staff already located at Jordanstown and Belfast.
The design of the new campus comes from the pens of Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and will be developed by the University of Ulster. When complete will provide 7,500 square metres of new space along with 450 square metres of refurbished space.
The development will require the demolition of the Orpheus Building, which is currently used by the university and linked to the main building via a bridge over York Street, as well as the former Playboard Building. Although they will be gone, the new design will give a tip of the hat to these buildings with the use of red brick accents in the facades.
Ranging from 5-10 storeys the bulk of the new campus will be on Fredrick Street and will be a rectangular shaped-affair that steps up in height North Queen Street to York Street. A series of staggered atria along the street will provide natural light for the building which will be home to ground floor commercial and public space, a gym and bike storage facilities. A library will take up the first floor whilst below ground 350 and 250 seat lecture halls will be constructed. The facades will be largely glazed with red brick accents.
Across the road from here will be a second building that has the appearance of two randomly stacked boxes, the lower portion clad in mainly in white while the upper portion is fully glazed.
Although a formal planning application has yet to be submitted, construction of the first phase of the project is expected to begin mid 2013 with completion expected mid 2015. Phase two, which will be across the street from the main complex, will then begin and the entire project is expected to be complete by 2018.
Funding for the project comes from a £16 million contribution from the Department of Employment and Learning with the remainder to be funded over the next 25 years by the universities income.