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City-based landscape architects win international design competition for Lisbon University campus


The design team at Munro + Whitten, a landscape architecture practice based in the city centre, have won the design competition which formed part of the European Landscape and Life Conference held in Lisbon in early May. Collaborating with Leed’s practice Urban Wilderness, the Leicester team beat off competitors from across Europe, China and the USA to win the ‘public prize’ as voted for by leading academics and professionals at the conference. The competition was to re-think the masterplan of the extensive Lisbon University campus, which covers around 180 acres, at the heart of the city.

Don Munro, director of Munro + Whitten, said, “Our designers took a broad view of the many challenges facing the campus and developed an exciting and practical concept to diversify the experience of staff and students, whilst also integrating the University into the wider residential community.

To achieve these design philosophies, equal weight was placed on space provision for students and residents alike. The concept promoted interconnected spaces that link the campus to its neighbours. The new campus landscape features a car-free central area with new shade giving planting, open plazas, new garden streets and lawns for events.

Don Munro added, “What was important for us was that the proposed masterplan would be self financing. To achieve this we proposed two new development zones on campus that would allow a commercial hotel and office complex to be built and secure finance for the new landscape schemes.”

The overriding principle for the masterplan was to create special places with colour, water, planting and playfulness for all ages.

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