Prince William and Kate Middleton visit MECD site
The University of Manchester welcomed The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to the campus on Friday 14 October 2016. Following a tour of the National Graphene Institute, they visited the site of the Manchester Engineering Campus Development (MECD).
MECD, designed by Mecanoo, will be one of the single largest construction projects ever undertaken by a higher education institution in the United Kingdom. It will transform the way in which the University educates future engineers in response to the needs of the fast-changing global economy.
Due to open in 2020, the £350m development will house flexible labs, bespoke project areas and interactive learning environments to support our excellent research, teaching and learning in the 21st century.
Whilst on site The Duke and Duchess sealed a time capsule which will be displayed within the building once construction is completed. They also unveiled a commemorative plaque to mark the occasion. Mecanoo created a custom virtual reality environment for the special guests to experience what MECD will look like.
Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President & Vice Chancellor of The University of Manchester, said: “Over the past 100 years the University has celebrated many achievements in science and engineering, from Rutherford splitting the atom to the isolation of graphene almost a century later. MECD will create a world-leading teaching, learning and research campus to develop the engineers, scientists and innovators of tomorrow and it is an honour to be joined by Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as we mark the commencement of the next milestone in the University’s campus masterplan”.
Preferred contractor, Balfour Beatty have taken occupation of the site on Upper Brook Street for the University of Manchester. In addition to this start on site, Balfour Beatty have taken design delivery responsibility ahead of tender. Mecanoo will continue to work alongside the University to deliver the vision for the project, working closely with the contractor led team in securing the 2020 masterplan centrepiece of MECD.