Queen Margaret University College is building the first new campus in Scotland for 30 years. The institution is moving to an out-of-town campus in Musselburgh, east of Edinburgh, by 2007 at a cost of £50 million.
A second phase, which extends the academic building and student accommodation, will be finished by about 2020.
The institution says it needs a new campus because its current facilities are not flexible or modern enough to allow for future expansion.
Queen Margaret began life in 1875 as the Edinburgh School of Cookery, but has applied for university status and now has seven different schools, including drama, physiotherapy and radiography, and 5,000 students.
The work is partly being paid for by selling off the old Edinburgh site to developers. Architects Dyer won the bid to design the campus, following a brief that the design had to take into account the fact that 70 per cent of the institution's students are female.
'For this reason, we went for a curvy design with lots of layers,' said Stephen Blowers, a Dyer associate