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University Academy 92

Manchester, UK


project overview

Supporting an inclusive and innovative way of learning

University Academy 92 (UA92) is a higher education provider with a difference. UA92 is passionate about providing equal opportunities for all, giving students the tools and support to reach their full potential and better prepare for the future.

The university is a joint venture between Lancaster University, and individuals from Manchester United’s Class of 92, all of whom actively support the learning, teachings and growth of UA92.


the brand

Elevating the learning environment with iconic style and vibrant innovation

After reaching full capacity on the ground and first floor, our client needed to expand the teaching space for the Digital Academy to the second floor.

Our thoughtful interior design and fit out retains the iconic style and aesthetic of the UA92 brand, whilst bringing out a fresh, new and vibrant look and feel to enhance the student experience.

I have found AHR’s professionalism and attention to detail second to none, from the start they gave me confidence that they would deliver on time and on budget. 

They have worked well with the wider teams and their careful and thorough interpretation of the brief has been instrumental in helping UA92 deliver a fully inclusive and hard working space that all our students will be excited to learn in.”

Trudy Dunne

Senior Project Manager
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design concept

Maintaining authenticity with a fresh new perspective

Taking inspiration from the original brand guidelines, we developed a design concept for the Digital Academy which sensitively preserves UA92’s iconic look whilst giving it a unique edge.

From the start, it was crucial that the design reflected the university’s philosophy of promoting ‘disruptive learning’, a style that goes beyond regular teaching, enabling students to have more control over their learning. Collaborative learning spaces with modular furniture systems are integrated into the design and allow for students to have more flexibility over where, when and how they work.

Digital education is further enhanced by the fully immersive virtual reality room, or ‘igloo’, which provides a unique learning experience for students.

To make the space greener, friendlier and more vibrant, we used our expert knowledge of biophilic design and integrated suspended planters throughout the space.

Green carpets were also used to further highlight a warm and welcoming feel whilst reinforcing the brand’s original identity with reference to a football pitch. Other design features were included, such as X and O shaped suspended lighting.

interior design

An immersive experience

Click the video to see our interior design come to life.


challenges and solutions

Working as a team to achieve a collective vision

Our aim was to produce a design which resonated with the university’s bold identity, whilst producing something new, fresh, and exciting. Key to this was ensuring that the many people and parties involved during the decision making process were well informed and guided throughout.

Through a meticulous approach, and working to a specific budget, we selected the most cost-effective materials and furnishes that are fit for the future whilst still showcasing that ‘wow factor’ design element. In doing so, we prioritised certain elements of the design which we believed remained in line with our client’s aspirations, including the suspended lighting and planters. The existing kitchen benefited from a re-use rather than a new build, which was more cost-effective and saved valuable time.

We needed to ensure that the space was accessible, inclusive and promotes an equal environment for all, with inclusion and equal opportunity a key component to UA92’s ethos. The digital academy meets the needs of students with mobility issues by including a Changing Places Room, as well as adaptable desks which cater for different heights. Particularly important for wheelchair users.

key information

Project summary


Manchester, M16 OPU


University Academy 92




Autumn 2022


1061.32 m2


Igloo immersive space
Digital labs
Collaborative study space
Meeting rooms


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