The Royal College of Art is planning to open a new art complex in Battersea. The new development scheme will deliver studios, workshops and business units to cover the needs of 1,500 postgraduate students.
The Battersea Campus will comprise a long 4-storey Studio Building with workshops, teaching and exhibition space alongside an 8-storey Research Building for materials science, advanced manufacturing and driverless car design.
The two brick-clad buildings will sit alongside the RCA’s existing Dyson Building and Clore Innovation Centre, and the Sackler fine arts facilities in Battersea.
Richard Benson, the RCA’s chief operating officer said:
“This new flagship building heralds an exciting phase in our 180-year history and will enable us to continue to attract the brightest talent to Battersea.”
The plans were initially lodged with Wandsworth council in October and have modified by designers Herzog and de Meuron to respond to the needs of the community.
Herzog & de Meuron senior partner Ascan Mergenthaler said: ‘Workshops are the nucleus of the college and of the new campus extension. Our design is rooted in the surrounding townscape – it is simple, robust and flexible, and delivers a formula for the transforming dynamic of the RCA.’
The residents want to have increased access on the RCA campus that is set to become a buzzing hub of culture and innovation hosting tons of students and researchers.
A large double height covered street space for exhibitions open to the public, a well-placed path through the complex and a new cafe will encourage the community to visit the RCA.
RCA vice-chancellor Dr Paul Thompson said: “The creation of the new Battersea campus is a landmark moment in the history of the RCA, as we embrace new design and creative disciplines and offer our students unparalleled studio, workshop, and high-tech facilities.
“We are delighted by the support we have received from both local and central government in helping us realise an entirely new type of art & design university which will contribute to the developing cultural quarter in Battersea.”
The two-year project will begin this summer and its design will allow the RCA to grow InnovationRCA, their commercialisation and business incubator by adding more start-ups.
The RCA Battersea Campus is part of a broader effort to increase the College’s presence in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics postgraduate programs.