Stanton Williams completes UCL’s largest university building

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Stanton Williams, a prominent British architecture studio, has unveiled its latest project: UCL East Marshgate, a 35,000-square-metre academic building for the University College London. The building, located within London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, aims to accommodate 4,000 students and 700 staff members. With a striking design that incorporates textured concrete panels and weathering steel, the building pays homage to the area’s industrial history. This ambitious project is part of the UCL East campus masterplan, which will be the largest expansion in the university’s 200-year history once completed.

According to Stanton Williams, UCL East Marshgate is designed to promote interdisciplinary learning and flexibility. The building houses a variety of spaces, including workshops, media studios, exhibition areas, design studios, lecture theatres, specialist laboratories, and collaboration spaces. The layout of the eight-storey building utilizes a central atrium, with spaces organized into distinct “neighbourhoods” that feature double-height communal areas. Henderson, a director at Stanton Williams, described these spaces as “village squares,” bringing individuals together and fostering collaboration.

The ground and first floors of UCL East Marshgate are accessible to the public, with a café on the ground floor and community classrooms and lecture theatres on the first floor. The upper levels are designated for university staff and students, providing research spaces and specialized laboratories. The central atrium functions as a passively heated and ventilated space, maintaining comfortable temperatures throughout the building.

The design of UCL East Marshgate prioritizes sustainability, as the building achieved a BREEAM Excellent rating. Stanton Williams has committed to achieving net-zero operational carbon by 2035 as part of the Olympic Park sustainability strategy. By incorporating exposed services and concrete structures, the architects aimed to minimize refurbishment costs and reduce carbon emissions associated with replacements and refurbishments.

The completion of UCL East Marshgate’s construction marks a significant milestone in the larger UCL East campus masterplan. The future campus will also host the UAL London College of Fashion, Sadler’s Wells East theatre, and bases for V&A East and BBC Music. With its innovative design, UCL East Marshgate is poised to become a prominent landmark in London’s academic and cultural landscape.

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