The redevelopment of London‘s Battersea neighborhood hit a new milestone this week as Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron showed off their new satellite campus for the Royal College of Art. The big reveal also marks the RCA’s most significant expansion in its 180-year history – a £135 million investment in postgraduate studies.
The vast facility incorporates lecture halls, studios, workshops, and exhibition spaces for the fine art, film, design, robotics, and manufacturing streams. The university is strengthening its science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) offering.
Part of the ongoing evolution of Battersea, the new campus was designed to engage with the local community at street level, incorporating public walkways that complement the Victorian streetscape.
Central to the new scheme is a brick ‘hangar’ with a sawtooth profile, reminiscent of Herzog & de Meuron‘s 2016 Switch House for Tate Modern. The flexible, multi-purpose space opens wide at both ends to allow large works or vehicles to pass through, and provides workspace across four storeys. A taller, narrower vertical hanger in a louvered white envelope will be given over to business, manufacturing, innovation and the research and development of robotics. The two volumes are connected by walkways at their two base levels.
Interior spaces have high exposed ceilings and modular layouts. Interior fittings were chosen for their sustainable credentials, energy efficiency, and local design. The structures are committed to low- and zero-carbon technologies and have been certified BREEAM excellent.