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The original architects of Lancaster University have returned to the campus 40 years after it was first opened.
During their visit, Professor Gabriel Epstein and Peter Hunter toured the campus and admired the developments that had taken place in their absence, as well as meeting with those architects currently working on the site.
Lancaster University was first established in 1964 with just two original colleges- Bowland and Lonsdale. The first on-campus student residences opened two years later in 1968. The original campus design was based on the need for a sheltered and compact campus.
Buildings were strategically placed to encourage the mixing of people from different faculties and interspersed with green spaces. Since that time, the University has been transformed from a place with just 13 professors and 8 Library staff to having an annual income of £149 million and 2,250 staff.
On his return to Lancaster campus, Professor Epstein, now aged 91, said that the visit was ‘a very magical experience’.
Over this 40 year period, the original campus has seen extensive changes and huge amounts of renovation; in the last five years alone, £300 million had been spent improving spaces for learning, recreation and accommodation. One of the newest and most noticeable of these transformations has been along the south side of Alexandra Square where the Learning Zone now stands; this was described by Hunter as ‘a modern edition which enhances a classic design’.
The Vice Chancellor of Lancaster University, Professor Paul Wellings, held a dinner in honour of these visiting guests. Peter Hunter said “I have so much admiration for what has been achieved since I was last here”, adding that “the campus has been transformed and it is incredible that there are now 17,500 students”.
Current plans for future development on the campus include the Waterside development for the Management School, a new building for the Lancaster Institute of Contemporary Arts, new facilities for the School of Health and Medicine and a new £20 million Sports Centre.