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Revealed: UCL names architects for new campus at Olympic Park

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University College London has chosen Stanton Williams and Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands to design the first two projects for its new campus at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London

Stanton Williams, which won the contest for the Museum of London’s new home at Smithfield last month, will mastermind the £80 million Marshgate scheme, a 33,500m² academic facility earmarked for a site south of the ArcelorMittal Orbit.

Meanwhile Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands will lead the design team for the £40 million Pool Street site close to Zaha Hadid Architect’s London Aquatics Centre. The project is billed as a 16,500m² mixed-use facility housing ’university residential and academic space’.

Ten teams (see below) were shortlisted for the pair of first-phase projects, part of the £270 million plan for the UCL East campus.

This initial stage is expected to accommodate about 3,000 students and 625 staff, including academics and researchers.

Martin Summersgill, head of development for UCL East, said the appointments marked a ‘key milestone’ for the campus development, which he claimed represented ‘a new approach to developing a university campus for the 21st century, embedded in the local community and business’.

UCL East sits within the new Cultural and Education District – known as Olympicopolis – being built on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in partnership with the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC).

The scheme incorporates the Stratford Waterfront development, which will include a new museum for the V&A, a theatre for Sadler’s Wells, a new campus for UAL’s London College of Fashion and a residential development. That project was recently criticised by a group of leading architects, who branded the designs ‘dull’ and ‘tired’ (see AJ 03.08.16).

A planning application for UCL East and Stratford Waterfront is expected to be submitted at the end of 2016.

Shortlists in full

Finalists for Marshgate, a 33,500m2 academic facility located south of the ArcelorMittal Orbit, were:

  • Grimshaw Architects (with Alan Baxter Associates, Mott MacDonald, Land Use Consultants, Social Communications)
  • Hawkins\Brown Architects (with MVRDV, Buro Happold, DJAO–RAKITINE, Soundings)
  • Mecanoo International (with Arup, Commonplace)
  • Scott Brownrigg (with UN Studio, Buro Happold, Atelier Ten, Gross Max)
  • Stanton Williams (with Arup, AKT II, VOGT, Soundings)

Finalists for Pool Street, a 16,500m2 university residential and academic space south of the London Aquatics Centre, were:

  • BDP
  • Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (with Buro Happold, LDA Design, iDEA, Soundings)
  • Jestico + Whiles (with Buro Happold, Ramboll, Plincke, Quatro)
  • John McAslan + Partners (with Buro Happold)
  • Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands (with Atelier Ten, AKT II, Kim Wilkie Landscape, PFB Construction Services, London Communications Agency)


Gavin Henderson, director at Stanton Williams
This is a unique opportunity to create a distinctive place: a new kind of university quarter that captures the excitement and vitality that draws people to live, work and study in contemporary London. Drawing on the energy of its East London setting, the Lee Valley’s legacy of industriousness and creativity, and the exceptional cultural and landscape setting of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, this will be a place for curiosity, learning and collaboration engaged with the culture of the surrounding city. We feel privileged to have the opportunity to work with UCL and LLDC to deliver the vision for UCL East.

Alex Lifschutz, co-founder of Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands
This is a fascinating project for a building that combines many uses, residential as well as academic. We very much wish it also to become a place that local people visit and enjoy, to make contact with UCL and to engage in many inspiring conversations. We hope that this building, together with its neighbour on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, are as much of a catalyst for this new campus as the Wilkins Building on Gower Street was for this most prestigious university in 1825.



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