Cranfield University

Client: Cranfield University

Location: Cranfield, Bedfordshire

OOBE were commissioned by Cranfield University as Landscape Architect Consultants for a period of 3 years to support its programme of Campus enhancement and development.Our team is complimented by the inclusion of Dr Nigel Dunnett – Professor of Planting Design, Urban Horticulture and Vegetation Technology in the Department of Landscape, University of Sheffield. Most notable recently was his role as lead horticultural advisor to the London 2012 Olympic Park. Cranfield University is an exclusively postgraduate University with an emphasis on the aerospace, agrifood, defence and security, environmental technology, leadership and management, manufacturing and transport system sectors. The University has grown steadily since its creation in 1946 as the College of Aeronautics and over the last thirty years it has become the largest centre in Europe for applied research, development and design. The campus takes its form from the World War II airfield that was RAF Cranfield and although some buildings have been extensively restructured, many are still recognisable as former barrack blocks. Some of the most recent buildings have been developed by celebrated architects including Foster and Partners, Sheppard Robson and Stanton Williams. The existing Masterplan, developed to meet the University’s aspiration for growth, will provide a framework for the sustainable development of the University over the next 25 years, building on its distinctive strengths, enhancing the students experience and encouraging interdisciplinary work.

A campus wide landscape strategy to create a coherent setting

OOBE are developing a campus wide landscape strategy that can be progressively implemented and will provide existing and proposed buildings with an attractive setting. It will ensure that a series of linked and coherent spaces are achieved to allow for clear pedestrian movement corridors, recreational space and structured control of the movement and parking of vehicles. Balancing the challenges of developing a movement strategy for autonomous vehicles, creating an attractive planting strategy, increasing biodiversity and the restrictions involved with the close proximity of the University Airport will be key to a successful masterplan.


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