LHC Design were commissioned to provide landscape design services as part of a comprehensive new masterplan for Exeter College’s Hele Road campus. The masterplan provides a 20-year vision to support a projected 30 percent increase in student numbers, and will deliver new teaching facilities within a high-quality landscape campus.
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In establishing a masterplan it was important for us to work with the existing landscape; utilise the existing topograph; identify key arrival points and define a route through the site; rationalise spaces between buildings and allow the site to ‘breathe; reinforce the settings of elements to be retained and respond to views from the site.
A key aim of the masterplan is to make the best use of substantial green space on the Hele Road site, opening it up as much as possible to benefit both students and local people. It was also vital to respond to the listing of heritage assets, as well as to ensure that the masterplan enhanced the existing street scene.
When complete a new pedestrian route will run through the site from the main Hele Road entrance to a new pedestrian entrance at the Howell Road side of the campus, which will reinforce and improve the link between St. David’s railway station and the city centre. This new entrance will also allow access to the large area of green space to the north of the site.
This new ‘landscape spine’ opens up the green spaces within the site and is designed to reduce the number of people using David’s Hill and New North Road to access the college.
Proposals were approved as part of a hybrid planning application in 2019. The first phase of the masterplan – a new Institute of Technology (IOT) building is on-site and due for completion in 2021.