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'We expect UCL East in many ways to be unique'

UCL East masterplan 3
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UCL East’s head of development Martin Summersgill on the university’s planned expansion at Olympicopolis

How many new buildings will you be delivering at UCL East?

LLDC and UCL are currently drafting the masterplan for UCL East which will cover 4.5ha and provide about 150,000m² of space. It is expected to propose several new buildings providing both residence and university uses. The masterplan will form part of an outline planning application that we expect to submit at the end of the year. UCL East represents the largest single expansion of UCL since the university was founded nearly 200 years ago. Design of the first phase will commence in late summer and completion dates will be confirmed in due course.

What sort of architects are you hoping to work with?

UCL East is envisaged as a new model of how a university campus can be embedded in the local community and with businesses, as well as providing world-leading research, education, entrepreneurship and innovation. It will also form part of the significant development of Olympicopolis. So this presents a unique opportunity for UCL to recast its relationship with London and to fulfill its promise as London’s global university. We are looking for two teams that can help us achieve this vision – delivering high-quality design and helping us to establish an enduring legacy.

What other campus developments are you impressed by?

We have taken a look at a number of university developments in Europe, the US and the UK, and are still looking and learning. There are some impressive examples to learn from, ranging from O’Donnell + Tuomey’s Saw Swee Hock Student Centre at LSE, to Twelve Architects’ Diamond building at Sheffield University and SOM’s New School building in New York. However none have really been developed under the circumstances that we are dealing with. We expect UCL East in many ways to be unique.

UCL East masterplan 1

UCL East masterplan 1

UCL East masterplan 2

UCL East masterplan 2

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