UEL Docklands Campus London, Architect, Architecture, English University Project

UEL Stratford Campus

University of East London Docklands Building, England, UK – design by Surface Architects

14 Jul 2011

UEL Docklands Campus Building


Design: Surface Architects

University of East London (UEL) commissions Surface Architects to create a new entrance pavilion for their docklands campus

Surface Architects have designed a distinctive reception and security pavilion for UEL, Docklands Campus, East London. Befitting the values and ethos of UEL, the building will announce the entrance to the campus, enhance the experience of visitors upon their arrival whilst providing a helpful and friendly new reception facility. The pavilion is situated at the foot of the ramp leading to University Square, under the grand arched opening of the existing buildings (completed in 1999). Here it provides effective oversight of the campus towards Cyprus Station to the north and Royal Docks to the south.

UEL Docklands Campus UEL Docklands Campus Building
images from Surface Architects

Surface won a tender for the project, beginning with a feasibility appraisal of the campus and a review of the optimum location for a reception function. Surface then helped UEL to develop the operational brief and resolve the strategic objectives for the project.

Leaning, blue, sculptured metal forms frame the entrances of the pavilion, clearly expressing the distinction between internal and external pedestrian routes. Vertical UEL iconography is integrated into a distinctive, forward leaning glass façade. This is the highest part of the building, from here it tapers down accentuating the adjacent main entrance ramp up to University Square.

A generous waiting area situated internally to the front of the pavilion looks back onto a sculpted reception desk, made with seamless acrylic and stainless steel. A folded and perforated ceiling expresses the structure of the roof, stemming from the solid service core at the rear.

The solid black roof wraps from the east wall as a continuous solid structure, emphasised by a series of deep reveal porthole windows. Contrasting with this solidity, the finely framed curtain wall glazing on the main facades is both transparent and reflective, creating an ethereal appearance between the weight of the main structural form.

The flank walls are finished with textured render, creating visual weight in contrast to the smooth transparent reflection of the glass. Internally the solid walls and core are finished with plaster and the floor with smooth resin. Lighting and ventilation is integrated within the circular perforations of the ceiling forms.

The project received planning permission in April 2011. It has been tendered and the contract has been awarded to Charter Construction, the project will begin on site at the end of July. The project value is approximately £1M including landscaping.

UEL Docklands Campus – Building Information

Andy MacFee, Director Surface
Suzanne Gaballa, Project Architect
Sam McElhinney, Press & Publications

UEL Docklands Campus Building images / information from Surface Architects

Surface Architects

University of East London
Docklands Campus
University Way
London E16 2RD

Location: University of East London, Docklands Campus, University Way, London E16 2RD

London, England, UK

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