University of Reading

Ecology surveys, masterplanning, Planning and Construction stages

 Client

University Partnerships Programme

Background

Situated to the southeast of Reading town centre, the Bridges Hall redevelopment project involved the replacement of existing accommodation with 7 new buildings comprising 649 bedroom arranged around a central facilities management hub. The scheme required careful consultation and negotiation to meet the aspirations of the University, Wokingham Borough Council and UPP. The Landmark Practice was involved throughout the masterplanning, planning and construction stages, providing landscape design and ecological services, including the relocation of bats from the old hall.

 Description

A key aspect of the masterplanning process was the insertion of the accommodation into an existing high quality parkland setting with ecological sensitivities. The buildings were laid out to retain the best quality trees which provided an instant setting for the buildings. New tree planting ensured that fine specimen trees would be available for future generations. The focal point is the facilities management building, set in a contemporary permeable paved area with a distinctive linear design and ornamental planting which reflects the strong horticultural ideals of the University’s grounds management staff who take great pride in their award winning campus.

This south facing area has been designed as an informal relaxation space for students, to provide views and a seamless transition into the wider parkland landscape. A simple palette of landscape materials has been selected for use within the townhouse courtyards which provides an uncluttered and predominantly soft landscape setting for the new buildings in the traditional college quadrangle format.

Client Benefits

Landmark’s landscape architects and ecologists worked together to create an integrated design which ensured that protected species such as bats were protected and that the biodiversity of the site and surrounding area was enhanced.