In 2016, Herzog and de Meuron won a contest to design a new campus for the most influential art and design school in London. The project is estimated to cost £108 million and it is funded by the UK government. In 2017, the Swiss firm submitted a planning application to Wandsworth Council to start working on the project.
The application includes offset floor patterns, vast walkways and shaded windows. Additionally, the building will have coarse brickwork- a feature that resembles what the firm did with the Tate Modern project. A zigzag roof is also shown in the pictures that the firm has released for the project. The roof is a feature that was inspired by two of Haworth Tompkins’ adjacent buildings, the Sackler building and the Dyson building of RCA.
The campus has an area of 15,000 square meters which will offer amenities necessary for the school courses that include science, design, technology, and engineering.
The vice-chancellor of the Royal College of Art, Paul Thompson said that the new campus will be an extension that fosters “the 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,” Thompson commented.
Moreover, the project will include a variety of research and knowledge facilities that concentrate on fields which are crucial for enhancing the economy of the UK.
The new building will comprise 10 new courses, in addition to an art supplies shop, and a café. For big art projects, there is a ‘hangar’ space to accommodate them and there are also vast spaces for indoor greenery.
Pierre de Meuron- co-founder of Herzog and de Meuron- commented that the new campus will “deliver innovation and expertise“.
“The Battersea site offers an opportunity to rethink the RCA campus and establish the patterns of connectivity and organization that will make a successful building,” de Meuron explained.
The Royal College of Art has won, for the last three consecutive years, the title of the foremost art and design university in the world. With RCA’s main campus being located at Kensington, its Battersea campus has been rapidly growing over the past couple of years.
Herzog and de Meuron has won the contest after a heated competition with big names in the world of architecture.
The Swiss firm has some other projects on their plate like the Laban Dance Centre in east London, remodeling of the Chelsea Football Club Stadium, and a cylinder-shaped residential tower also in London.