November 8, 2017

Royal College of Art Unveils Plans for New Campus by Herzog & de Meuron

LONDON, ENGLAND—Plans for the Royal College of Art’s new 15,000-square meter campus expansion in London’s Battersea neighborhood have been released by the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, Amy Frearson reports for Dezeen. The campus expansion will house facilities for the art college’s design, science, engineering, and technology programs at a cost of £108 million, with funding provided by the British government. The expansion further the Royal College of Arts’ commitment to building on its art curriculum with space for ten new programs, including computer and materials science and design manufacturing.

The Basel-based Herzog & de Meuron were selected as lead architects for the project in November 2016 over the firms Christian Kerez, Lacaton & Vassal, Studio Gang, Serie Architects, Robbrecht en Daem Architecten, and Diller Scofidio + Renfro. The plans call for textured brick building, like the architects’ Tate Modern Switch House, topped by a sawtooth roof, with gathering and exhibition spaces, a materials shop, and a public thoroughfare.

Paul Thompson, RCA vice chancellor, said the new facilities would encourage the college’s “next generation of creative entrepreneurs. We are thrilled with how Herzog & de Meuron have responded to our brief to create our new center in Battersea to embody this vision, helping us to deliver transformational experiences for our students and ensuring that the UK continues to lead the world in art and design.”

Royal College of Art has been named the world’s top art and design school by QS Univeristy Rankings for three consecutive years. In May 2017, chief Apple designer Jonathan Ive was named chancellor, succeeding industrial designer and entrepreneur James Dyson. In addition to its Battersea facilities, RCA hosts its MPhil, MA, and PhD programs out of the Darwin Building in Kensington.

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