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Hawkins\Brown scoops planning for £30m Bartlett revamp

Hawkins\Brown has won planning for the transformation of the Bartlett School of Architecture’s home

The £30million scheme will double the school’s teaching and research space at Wates House in London’s Bloomsbury conservation area.

Hawkins\Brown’s design will open up the 1970s building’s façade to reveal what is happening inside to the street. This includes re-orientating the entrance and providing exhibition spaces at ground level.

Speaking at the planning committee meeting held last night (31 July), the planning officer said the scheme provided a ‘significant enhancement to the conservation area’, creating a ‘much more refined and elegant building’.

Project architect, Euan Macdonald at Hawkins\Brown said: ‘We are delighted that Wates House has been granted planning permission. It’s been a really exciting, cohesive and collaborative project with The Bartlett, UCL and Camden Council. The scheme has been commended for its contextual, high quality design that will enhance the conservation area around UCL and we can’t wait to move forward to the next step.’

The Bartlett’s architecture students will be relocated to a temporary home on Hampstead Road near Euston Station while the refurbishment takes place.

The scheme will start on site in the autumn and is due to complete in September 2016.

Previous story (AJ 27.05.14)

Hawkins\Brown submits £30m Bartlett revamp

[FIRST LOOK + DRAWINGS] Hawkins\Brown has submitted plans to transform the home of the Bartlett School of Architecture

The £30million scheme will double the school’s teaching and research space at Wates House.

Sited within the Bloomsbury Conservation Area, the original structure of the Bartlett’s existing home – Wates House – will be retained, however it will be reconfigured to provide more studio space.

Hawkins\Brown’s design will open up the building’s façade to reveal what is happening inside to the street. This includes re-orientating the entrance and providing exhibition spaces at ground level.

The project will demonstrate how 1970s buildings, like Wates House, can be retrofit to meet today’s needs.

Andrew Grainger, director of UCL Estates, said: ‘Wates House is a critical project, part of the estate transformation works set to start this summer to improve UCL’s buildings and make better use of the space that we have.

‘The building will be stripped back to its shell and completely remodelled, adding space including a new full height extension facing Gordon Street, and a lateral extension to the building perimeter.’

Euan Macdonald, partner at Hawkins\Brown, said: ‘Designing the home of The Bartlett School of Architecture has been a challenging, but richly rewarding experience. Our design has evolved through intensive dialogue with the building users and the planning, conservation and design officers at Camden. Key drivers are the creation of a building that reflects the quality of the school’s teaching and research, whilst also making a positive contribution to the surrounding conservation area.’

Alan Penn, dean of The Bartlett, UCL’s Faculty of the Built Environment, added: ‘A real challenge facing society is how best to improve the quality of buildings constructed just a few decades ago. We decided to retrofit Wates House rather than to demolish and rebuild. Retaining the existing structure not only saves embodied energy, but adds a certain quirkiness to the design.’

From September, the Bartlett will relocate to a new temporary location in Camden, to allow the construction work to go-ahead.

The scheme is due to start on site before the end of the year and is set to complete in 2016.

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