image © Iwan Baan
Signifying the most significant expansion in its history, the Royal College of Art celebrates the unveiling of its new Herzog & de Meuron-designed campus in Battersea, London. RCA notes that the £135 million expansion signifies its ongoing transformation into a dynamic postgraduate university focused on science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM).
Alongside the new built space — defined in part by its brickwork volume stretching a full city block — the university’s curriculum will expand into computer and materials science, robotics, advanced manufacturing, complex visualization and data science, and intelligent mobility. With this forward-thinking new focus, RCA aims to inspire and enable its students to take on some of the most critical challenges of the modern age.
With its new campus for the Royal College of Art in London, Herzog & de Meuron introduces a massive amount of new facility and studio spaces for students. First, four stories of studios and workshops will host room for Sculpture and Contemporary Art Practice, Moving Image (video and film), and the School of Design. These studios will create collaborative social and educational areas, along with space for temporary exhibitions and large-scale works.
The so-called Hangar is a double height, 350 square-meter (3,770 square-foot) multi-purpose activity space at the center of the campus. Here, vast doors at each end allow for the installation of heavy, large, or complex works of art. Next, a Robotics Hangar takes shape as a smaller hangar and gallery space for the research testing and assembly of intelligent mobility, design engineering, sculpture and robotics — enabling even the testing of aerial and aquatic robotics.
The Rausing Research & Innovation Building introduces eight floors of dedicated independent and confidential research space for areas such as materials science, soft robotics, advanced manufacturing, intelligent mobility, and AR and VR visualization, housed in the Snap Visualisation Lab.
A new purpose-built home has been built for the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, which undertakes design research and projects with industry that contribute to improving people’s lives. The InnovationRCA now stands as the RCA’s center for enterprise, entrepreneurship, incubation, and business support.
Herzog & de meuron respects the community and environment
The new Herzog & de Meuron-designed campus will ensure that the Royal College of Art engages the local community. Public walkways intersect the site, continuing the original Victorian street grid of this quarter of London. Meanwhile, the interior fit-out of the new campus celebrates the iconic designs of RCA alumni and staff, bringing together furniture and fittings selected for their approach to sustainable manufacturing and energy efficiency, concepts which are central to the new development.
The building has been certified as BREEAM excellent following a £3 million investment, using a combination of integrated design and most significantly a commitment to low and zero carbon technologies.
Source: Design Boom