Royal College of Art Battersea New Campus, RCA London Building News, Design Images

RCA New Battersea Campus, Royal College of Art London

23 + 20 + 7 Sep 2021

The Landmark Building For The Royal College Of Art

Design: Herzog & De Meuron Architects

Address: Riverside, 1 Hester Rd, London SW11 4AN, England, UK

Royal College of Art, London, UK:
RCA New Battersea Campus, Royal College of Art London
pictures © Herzog & deMeuron

Royal College of Art – new Battersea campus

Thursday 23 September 2021 – The Royal College of Art, the world’s leading university of art and design, will launch its new campus in Battersea, London, on 11 January 2022. The state-of-the-art building, designed by internationally renowned Swiss architects, Herzog & de Meuron, will provide a new home for innovation and design, embodying the RCA’s academic vision to interweave art and design with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).

RCA New Battersea Campus, Royal College of Art London

The new Battersea campus is the largest development in the College’s 184-year history, enabling it to expand the frontiers of knowledge in art and design through innovative research, teaching and knowledge exchange. The RCA’s internationally recognised specialism in art and design has influenced generations and shaped our current world, encompassing both large-scale industry and common place objects, from the cars we drive and the buildings in which we live and work, to the clothes we wear and the art that lifts us out of the mundane. Its mission to imagine the future can now be fully realised with outstanding new facilities, incorporating cutting-edge technologies across the disciplines of computer and materials science, robotics, advanced manufacturing and intelligent mobility.

RCA New Battersea Campus, Royal College of Art London

With a focus on ‘action’ research, students will be empowered to foster new design approaches to real-world problems and create innovations that lead to demonstrable impacts on a global scale to improve and change lives. Areas of application will include safer and better health services, designs for a more inclusive society, new products for the global longevity economy, and advances in design for mobility through emerging technologies. Alongside this research focus, the College’s centre for entrepreneurship, InnovationRCA, will spearhead the commercialisation of new human-centred design products and sustainability initiatives within industry. The new campus will ensure the College continues to play a vital role in driving innovation in the UK and beyond by providing answers to the challenges of rapid urbanisation, the effects of climate change, an ageing population, and the need for ethical responsibility within all creative practices.

RCA New Battersea Campus, Royal College of Art London

Located to the south of the existing RCA buildings in Battersea, the 15,500 square-metre landmark new building will act as a radical spatial catalyst, embracing a greater cross-disciplinary dialogue between vehicle designers and architects, animators and ceramicists, fashion designers and textile students, sculptors and jewellery designers, performance artists and filmmakers within new make-spaces to push the boundaries in developing ground-breaking research.

Comprising two connected building blocks, the first four-storey Studio Building will focus on postgraduate teaching, making and learning with enhanced studios and workshops for Sculpture and Contemporary Art Practice, Design Products and Robotics. Designed as social and educational spaces of creative transfer and collaboration, the studios will also accommodate temporary exhibitions and large-scale works. The Design Studios will consist of the Design Product Studios, Innovation Design Studios, an Engineering Studio, the Immersion Lab, the Materials Nature Lab, the Manufacturing Lab and the Computer Science Lab, while the Moving Image Studio will be a highly specified, flexible working space allowing film and video production activities to be performed at the most advanced technical level, facilitating students to produce industry standard work.

RCA New Battersea Campus, Royal College of Art London

A dramatic double-height covered street Hangar lies at the heart of the building, providing a multifunctional activity space for large-scale automotive and sculptural objects to be assembled and exhibited. The Hangar will become the focal point for RCA artists and makers, and their interactions with the public, including events, screenings, performances, exhibitions and graduate shows. The smaller Robotics Hangar and gallery space will provide flexible research testing and assembly areas for intelligent mobility, design engineering, sculpture, and aquatic and aerial robotics.

The Rausing Research and Innovation Building will comprise eight floors of dedicated independent research space, including new research centres for Materials Science, Textile Circularity, Design for Ageing and Computer Science, alongside InnovationRCA, the Clore Innovation Centre and the renowned Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design. Two of its floors will unite the Mobility Design Centre with the MA in Intelligent Mobility. New laboratories will include a lab for advanced modelling and manufacturing processes along with the Visualisation Lab, an immersive visual and acoustic virtual cocoon capable of modelling complex constructed environments and digitally capturing the real world, opening-up new ways of working with simulation, virtual reality and immersive technology. At the pinnacle of the building, commanding views across London, the Knowledge Exchange Centre will offer a suite of seminar and conference facilities for cross-disciplinary use by students, academics, researchers and industry partners, furthering the RCA’s close collaboration with the industry sector.

Royal College of Art London building design

Sustainability and energy efficiency are central to the new development, certifying the continuation of the RCA’s global contribution as the number one university for art and design. Approximately £3 million will be invested in making the building BREEAM excellent, using a combination of integrated design and most significantly a commitment to low and zero carbon technologies.

Through Herzog & de Meuron’s architectural vision, the campus will increase the RCA’s overall footprint in Battersea to create a united the 26,000 square-metre campus, providing a new hub for innovation and design within the wider Battersea Creative Quarter.

Royal College of Art London building design by Herzog & De Meuron Architects

Dr. Paul Thompson, Vice-Chancellor, Royal College of Art, said: “The opening of our new campus in Battersea, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to realise our academic ambition to become a STEAM university, combining innovative new technologies with the traditional disciplinary practices to provide exceptional experiences for designers, artists and storytellers who will go on to enhance the world.”

Jacques Herzog, Founding Partner, Herzog & de Meuron, said: “Our experience with designing many museums in the last 20 years tells me that art institutions increasingly tend to blur the traditional boundaries between the collection, presentation, preservation, and even the production of art. In addition, such institutions want to be great social spaces and focal points for public life. Our design for the new RCA and its programming at Battersea traces a path not so dissimilar to this new ideal. Students, teachers, and visitors will find themselves in a kind of village built around the topic of art, with an architectural atmosphere that encourages the entire community to engage in a constant process of teaching and learning, producing, presenting, and discussing art.”

RCA New Battersea Campus, Royal College of Art London

About the RCA

The Royal College of Art is the world’s leading university of art and design. Specialising in teaching and research, the RCA offers degrees of MA, MPhil, MRes and PhD across the disciplines of architecture, arts & humanities, design and communications.

A small, specialist and research-intensive postgraduate university based in the heart of London, the RCA provides 2000 students with unrivalled opportunities to deliver art and design projects that transform the world.

The RCA’s approach is founded on the premise that art, design, creative thinking, science, engineering and technology must all collaborate to solve today’s global challenges.

The University employs around 1000 professionals from around the world – professors, researchers, art and design practitioners, advisers and visiting lecturers – to teach and develop students in 30 academic programmes. RCA students are exposed to new knowledge in a way that encourages them to experiment.

The RCA runs joint courses with Imperial College London and the Victoria & Albert Museum.

InnovationRCA, the university’s centre for enterprise, entrepreneurship, incubation and business support, has helped over 70 RCA business ideas become a reality that has led to the creation of over 750 UK jobs.

Alumni include David Adjaye, Christopher Bailey, Monster Chetwynd, David Hockney, Tracey Emin, Thomas Heatherwick, Lubaina Himid, Clare Waight Keller and Rose Wylie.

The RCA was named the world’s leading university of art and design in the QS World Rankings 2021 for the seventh consecutive year.

For more information visit:

Landmark Building For The Royal College Of Art
picture courtesy of architecture practice

About Herzog & de Meuron

Established in Basel in 1978, Herzog & de Meuron is a partnership led by Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron together with Senior Partners Christine Binswanger, Ascan Mergenthaler, Stefan Marbach, Esther Zumsteg, and Jason Frantzen. An international team of nearly 500 collaborators including the two Founders, five Senior Partners, ten Partners, and 41 Associates work on projects across Europe, the Americas and Asia. The main office is in Basel with additional offices in London, New York, Hong Kong, Berlin and Copenhagen.

The practice has designed a wide range of projects from the small scale of a private home to the large scale of urban design. Many projects are highly recognized public facilities, such as museums, stadiums, and hospitals, and they have completed distinguished private projects including offices, laboratories and apartment buildings. Awards received include the Pritzker Architecture Prize (USA) in 2001, the RIBA Royal Gold Medal (UK), the Praemium Imperiale (Japan), both in 2007, and the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (USA) in 2014.


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Phone: +963 936 145 151

Location: Royal College of Art Battersea, Riverside, 1 Hester Road, London, SW11 4AN, England, UK

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