Queen Margaret University College, Scottish Higher Education Building Location, Architect, Photo

Queen Margaret University College

QMUC University Campus, Craighall, Musselburgh, East Lothian, Scotland, UK

7 Jul 2008

Queen Margaret University

HRH The Queen opens Queen Margaret University

Two hundred invited guests have gathered at Dyer’s £105m new campus for Queen Margaret University to witness its official opening by Her Majesty the Queen on 4th July. Accompanied by Professor Anthony Cohen (Principal), Her Royal Highness unveiled a plaque to commemorate the visit before touring the main building and signing the Visitors’ Book.

On leaving the campus, The Queen was greeted by crowds of well-wishers who had gathered in University Square, the large public plaza at the entrance to the 35 acre site. Official guests included Dyer directors Philip Ball and Dale Sinclair who led the practice’s design team on one of its landmark education projects.

The royal party began its tour in the Learning Resource Centre, where Philip Ball (Dyer) and Martin Blencowe (Heery) presented a model of the phased campus development and an exhibition on the university’s biomass heating system (which has reduced carbon emissions by 75%).

The guests then visited a number of the university’s specialist facilities which have been integrated into the main building alongside general learning functions, break-out zones and open-plan offices for both administrative and academic staff. This inclusive design approach reflects the way the client delivers its diverse, skills-focused curriculum to upwards of 5,000 students and visitors have been impressed at the dynamic learning environment created.

QMUC Photos 8 Feb 2008
Architects: Dyer
Location: Scotland, UK

Queen Margaret University Queen Margaret University Queen Margaret University Queen Margaret University

RE:Locate is a major new-build campus for Queen Margaret University (QMU). It is Scotland’s first new university campus in forty years and is one of the few education projects in the UK to receive an ‘excellent’ BREEAM rating. Laid out over 35 acres, it is designed around an extensive flagship building which has been a key tool in the client gaining “Top 10 Modern University” status* and is a strong visual statement of QMU’s progressive approach to the delivery of Higher Education.
*Sunday Times ‘Good University Guide’ 2007

Purpose & Brief
From the outset, the client had a strong vision for a sustainable parkland campus and was committed to developing the brief through constructive dialogue. It stressed the need for an attractive and distinctive campus that felt welcoming and inspiring. The team quickly took ownership of the vision for a fit-for-purpose, sustainable, and accessible academic village.

Location, site & context
The site is situated on the outskirts of Edinburgh and has been masterplanned in close consultation with a number of stakeholders including the local community. The first phase is the subject of this submission and comprises the main building (20,000m2), student residences, a combined sports, student union and dance building, SUDS pond, biomass energy centre and extensive landscaping.

The main building is a long and relatively low structure, designed to meet the demands of high density use of the ground floor. The plan promotes connectivity and maximises views. It exploits the natural slope of the site to create a terraced internal atrium, with teaching functions laid out to the east and administration to the west.
Balconies to the upper floors and atrium bridges provide places for informal learning.

Materials & details
Materials have been chosen for their suitability, sustainability and durability. The main building is a reinforced concrete structure clad with a mixture of render, zinc, brick and glazing. Internally, an extensive palette of colours and materials is used to articulate the variety of spaces and create a dynamic interplay between them.
The atrium roof is clad with ETFE.

Innovation: social learning & shared spaces
At the outset, QMU envisaged a campus of separate buildings, including a Learning Resource Centre (LRC). Dyer encouraged the client to consider one single main building, with the non-secure areas of the LRC distributed throughout the central atrium. This has increased the capacity of the LRC to upwards of 1000 study spaces; maximised opportunities for group and informal learning; and integrated the facility into the very heart of the university, within full view of both the teaching and office zones.
The building has also effected a culture change in the administrative departments, which have wholly embraced openplan working and the use of shared ‘break out’ spaces.

Sustainability has been the key driver behind QMU’s agenda for the new campus. The building’s layout is not only conducive to social learning but is highly efficient. Setting the offices out in ‘fingers’ has facilitated a natural ventilation strategy and provides optimum access to natural daylight. Concrete’s qualities have been exploited for heating / cooling purposes. Energy consumption and heat generation have been drastically reduced through the use of ‘thin client’ technology and carbon emissions reduced by 75% using a biomass heating system. Rainwater is harvested in the SUDS pond.

Queen Margaret University
The first new higher education campus in Scotland for 30 years

QMUC Edinburgh – Images by Adrian Welch Mar 2008
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QMUC News – Aug 2004
The future of Queen Margaret University College (QMUC) was in the balance this week as Scottish Ministers considered whether to call in plans for the £50m campus on the outskirts of Musselburgh, East Lothian.

QMUC Edinburgh – Images by Adrian Welch Jul 2007:
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QMUC Edinburgh – Jan 2004
Architectural practice Dyer Associates won the architectural competition to design QMUC’s new campus. Queen Margaret University College launched an international competition, managed by The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland, to find an architect for its new East Lothian campus in September last year. Dyer Associates’ winning proposal to carry out the detailed design work for the first phase of the QMUC project was chosen from over 30 entries from architectural practices from the UK and Europe.

QMUC, Dyer Associates
QMUC: internal street by Dyer Associates

The new campus is on a site at Craighall – an area of 35 acres in East Lothian, adjacent to Musselburgh – and will include student residences and sports facilities as well as faculty buildings. Queen Margaret University purchased the site from Persimmon Homes.

QMUC : Craighall Shortlist Dec 2003
Building Design Partnership
Foster & Partners
Dyer Associates

QMUC : Background

QMUC judging panel
Dr Barbara Kelly CBE DL.LLD (Chair)
Professor Tony Cohen, Principal, QMUC
Rosalyn Marshall, Vice Principal (Strategic Corporate Services), QMUC
Prof. Robin Webster, OBE ARSA FRIAS RIBA, Head of Graduate School, Scott Sutherland School of Architecture
Andrew P K Wright, Chartered Architect
Brian Moore, Director of RIAS Consultancy

Since the QMUC competition Dyer Associates rebranded as Dyer

QMUC Apartments : Queen Margaret University College Edinburgh property

Queen Margaret University College : Further Information

Hotel Missoni Edinburgh

New Town Harvey Nichols

Edinburgh Property

Comments / photos for the Queen Margaret University College Edinburgh Architecture page welcome