The royal college of art (RCA) has unveiled plans for a new building that will form part of its expanded battersea campus in south London. designed by Swiss firm herzog & de meuron, following an international competition, the structure will contain studios, workshops, and incubator units for both postgraduate students and entrepreneurs. the RCA says that the flagship building will allow the university to continue to compete globally and attract high calibre personnel.
Sitting alongside the RCA’s existing dyson, woo and sackler buildings, the herzog & de meuron-designed structure will facilitate ten new programs. these include the college’s expansion into the domains of computer and materials science, the impact of the digital economy, advanced manufacturing and intelligent mobility — areas of research that, having already attracted collaborations with hyundai and burberry, the RCA says are ‘critical to the UK economy’.
The proposed building appears as a stacked series of brick volumes that relate in both scale and materiality to the surrounding context. herzog & de meuron’s design also incorporates a new café and art materials shop with improved routes through the site which will be publicly accessible. meanwhile, other public realm improvements have also been proposed. the royal college of art has submitted proposals to london’s wandsworth council for the £108 million (approx. $141m USD) building.
The RCA is committed to nurturing the next generation of creative entrepreneurs,’ says dr. paul thompson, vice-chancellor of the royal college of art. ‘we are thrilled with how herzog & de meuron have responded to our brief to create our new centre in batter sea to embody this vision, helping us to deliver transformation experiences for our students and ensuring that the UK continues to lead the world in art and design.’ see design boom’s previous coverage of the project