Loughborough University Active Landscape

Internationally recognised as an institution for sporting excellence, Loughborough University recognised that a broad offer was required for students and that their campus, although appearing active was not necessarily inclusive. The importance of external spaces to support general wellbeing was also stressed.

Colour were appointed by the university to help deliver the ambition of creating an ‘active landscape’ for students that would provide opportunities for activity between the places where people go to for sport. The setting for this active landscape was the New Student Village, residential accommodation for 617 students and an elite athletes’ hotel which opened in 2018 and includes such features as altitude rooms.

To test what would and wouldn’t work, and how students engage with activity in their own lifestyles, a programme of student engagements was undertaken in collaboration with Loughborough Sport, the Students’ Union, David Morley Architects and Sport England. Groups of students were consulted and represented both the active and the less active communities, with the intention that one of the ways that success could be measured would be through behavior change with the less active.

The landscape design was developed with the basic premise that all built elements would provide a secondary function that could be used for exercise or activity. ‘Nudges’ were designed in to encourage users to be active and social meeting spaces were created of both passive and active character. Design of landscape elements was also developed with an international athletics coach so as to maximise the training potential of the everyday environment.

Early indications after the opening of Phase 1 are already very positive, with Mark Davies, Sports Capital Strategy and Maintenance Manager reporting :

"Those that have seen the area have said how engaging it is to inspire them to run or get active…”
Sport England have commissioned Colour to write a case study on this project to form part of their guidance on best practise in Active Design.

Ariel image courtesy of Loughborough University.
Link to Loughborough University active campus.

Shortlisted for RICS East Midlands Tourism Award 2019
Shortlisted for RICS East Midlands Innovation Award 2019


Loughborough University

Project Team

Design Team – David Morley Architects, Faithful & Gould project management and quantity surveyors, Curtins engineers.
Delivery Team – Church Lukas Architects, BWB engineers.
CONTRACTOR: Bowmer & Kirkland


East Midlands


Phase 1 completed Summer 2018, Phase 2 on site, completion due June 2019

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