London Metropolitan University has appointed Design Engine Architects to develop the masterplan for its controversial campus consolidation in Holloway, north London
The institution’s £125 million One Campus, One Community vision is aimed at bringing all of its facilities together onto one site.
But the proposals have sparked outrage among students, staff and commentators, particularly in relation to the closure of the Sir John Cass Faculty of Art’s current building in Aldgate.
Today (11 January), London Met announced that Design Engine had been selected from a shortlist which also included Nicholas Hare Architects and design practice Scott Brownrigg.
Professor John Raftery, vice chancellor of London Met, said: ‘A key factor in the brief for the architects was to show us how they can create a university that is open to the local community, and Design Engine have some exciting ideas about how we can achieve this.’
He said that Design Engine would work to develop ideas with local people, staff and students over the next few months.
John Ridgett, director of Design Engine, said: ‘As a practice we seek to develop spaces and places, which are not only beautiful but functional and which derive from thoughtful consultation with staff and students.
‘The higher education landscape in particular requires imaginative thinking in creating new teaching and learning environments and blurring the edges between academic and social space.’
Design Engine, based in Winchester, won a RIBA National Award in 2014 and reached the midlist for the Stirling Prize for its John Henry Brookes Building for Oxford Brookes University. That year, it also reached the shortlist for Education Architect of the Year.
Shortly before Christmas, Robert Mull resigned as dean and head of architecture at the Cass due to his opposition to the move of the facility to Holloway.
In November, architects including Richard Rogers and David Chipperfield lent their support to a campaign against proposals to move the Cass.