Heslington East, University of York

June 10, 2011 Filed under: 2010s, Education, Masterplanning by Sanna Fisher-Payne 5 comments

Placed 1st in the Placebook vote of favourite buildings by BDP
BDP's masterplan is creating a new campus with academic departments, colleges, facilities and a lake. Pro-Vice-Chancellor Elizabeth Heaps has been in charge of the project

The challenge was to create a new campus on a green field site, based on the same principles and values as the adjacent original campus which dates from the 1960s, in a way that made a coherent whole.

The landscape setting and the theme of integration of activities were the key, and BDP’s superb masterplan has achieved this, with splendid buildings that interrelate and sit sympathetically in the landscape.  Students who live on Heslington East, staff who work there, and all our visitors are enthused.

The star building of the constellation is the Ron Cooke Hub, where research, teaching, social and business activities co-exist.  The building has caused great excitement from within and outside the University in the way it fosters collaborations – its atmosphere is truly electric.

Architecture is supposed to surprise and delight – and this place does.  It is not only the University and our stakeholders and partners who feel this way, as Heslington East has won three design awards already – the most recent being a RIBA award 2011.


With degrees in French and Medieval Studies, Elizabeth Heaps became University Librarian at York in 1997, and was appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Estates and Strategic Projects in October 2007. She is responsible for the £750 million Heslington East campus expansion, and overseeing the development of strategy for the University estate.