Designs have been submitted for a new £35m student centre at the University of York in the UK to secure planning permission.

The new building is designed to serve as an arrival point on Campus West.

It is co-designed by architectural firms ADP Architecture and O’Donnell and Tuomey.

 To be built to the latest environmental, health, and sustainability standards, the building will feature a range of spaces including event and flat floor spaces, interactive study areas, student radio and TV studios, a new home for the university’s student unions and frontline student support services, dining places and a rooftop garden.

The building will be surrounded by gardens to offer places to sit and relax for students.

Upon receipt of the planning permission process, construction work will start in the second quarter of 2024.

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The centre is expected to open for students in the academic year 2025-2026.

University of York teaching, learning and students pro-vice-chancellor Tracy Lightfoot said: “This is an important milestone in this project. In the last year, we have spent a lot of time engaging and listening to our students to ensure that the plans truly reflect what they want, and need, from a building such as this.

“The spaces have been adapted to fit their feedback and we will continue to do this throughout the rest of the process. Our iconic new Student Centre promises to be a fantastic asset to our students, the University, and the local community.”

The facility will be constructed primarily with natural materials and see the use of renewable sources such as reconstituted stone with plans for solar panels, roof lights, and solar-controlled glazing.

The centre will aim to achieve a high sustainability standard, which includes the UK Green Building Council’s ‘net-zero carbon’ accreditation.

Planning permission has already been granted for demolishing a few empty buildings to make space for the new centre. The demolition work will begin later in the spring.

ADP Architecture director Helen O’Curry said: “We are very proud to be working alongside the University of York and partnering with O’Donnell and Toumey to design and deliver this exciting project.

“The Student Centre is a key strategic intervention into the wonderful York campus landscape. Located between iconic structures on the campus, the centre creates a visible and welcoming gateway to the university, providing a significant public realm and dedicated student facilities.

“The project has been a joy, with the whole design team working hard to deliver high aspirations for the University.”

O’Donnell and Tuomey design-lead architect John Tuomey said: “The University of York Student Centre will be a singular structure, a flexible plan with interconnecting multifunctional spaces, with a south-facing winter garden and a walled orchard garden on the roof.

“The architectural form, embodying principles of environmental responsibility, responds to the visual patterns of York Minster and is consistent with material characteristics of the University campus.”