The Royal College of Art (RCA) has announced that Herzog & de Meuron has been selected as the winner of a competition to design a strategic approach for the center at its new £108m Battersea South campus.
Beating out runner-up practices Christian Kerez (Switzerland), Diller Scofidio + Renfro (US), Lacaton & Vassal (France), Robbrecht en Daem architecten (Belgium), Serie Architects (UK/Singapore) and Studio Gang (US), the winning proposal was lauded for its “strong engagement with the existing College buildings and wider surroundings in Battersea.”
The jury for the competition noted that Herzog & de Meuron’s approach exhibited “a deep understanding of the potential for Battersea, making new connections and foreseeing the possibilities for sustainable place-making,” while provided a concept with “a clear organisational structure and showed an acute sensibility in mapping the complex objectives in the brief.”
The project aligns with the RCA’s recent initiative to transform into a STEAM-focused graduate university (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics/Medicine), which will focus on contemporary fields such as computer and materials science, the impact of the digital economy, robotics, sustainability, advanced manufacturing, intelligent mobility, mass migration and city design.
‘We took our inspiration from the RCA ethos of experiment and making to explore the possibilities of spatial organisation, and to test the physical expression of bringing together theworlds of science, art, design and technology under one roof,’ said Ascan Mergenthaler, Senior Partner, Herzog & de Meuron.
Organized by Malcolm Reading Consultants, the competition features a competitive selection model that saw a total of ninety-seven expressions of interest from practices around the world.
‘We are delighted to win the competition,” said Pierre de Meuron. “The RCA set a challenging brief to look forward and visualise the spaces they will need to deliver innovation and expertise. The Battersea site offers an opportunity to rethink the RCA campus and establish the patterns of connectivity and organisation that will make a successful building.’
The Royal College of Art will now collaborate with Herzog & de Meuron and Mott MacDonald & Equals Consulting, who are leading the multidisciplinary professional team, to develop initial concept designs.
News via Malcolm Reading Consultants.