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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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