Exceptional academic facilities
The £22 million refurbishment and extension to University College London’s (UCL) 22 Gordon Street (formally known as Wates House) provides a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ building for the prestigious Bartlett School of Architecture.
Forming part of the wider scheme to improve a number of UCL’s academic buildings, the project provides accommodation for student studios, offices, teaching and seminar rooms, machinery workshops, computer labs and exhibition spaces.
BuroHappold needed to work closely with the architect, client, students and teaching staff to breathe new life into a building that had become tired and outdated. With student numbers growing, the school needed to increase its teaching space, as well as replace the aging MEP systems. This meant the existing 1970’s building needed to be retrofitted and extended, retaining the existing structure while providing a new, enhanced environment with highly efficient systems.
The complete refurbishment provides a fitting new home for the world renowned Bartlett School of Architecture
Andy Keelin, Partner
Our team incorporated a building services design that provides a flexible, low energy and comfortable environment for occupants. Heating and cooling is provided by a district wide strategy integrating active chilled beams, free cooling chillers and twin wheel heat recovery air handling units, while LED lighting provides energy efficient lighting. Systems have been designed to reflect UCL’s long-term sustainability targets, while ensuring flexibility and low maintenance.
A significant challenge for the team was to increase the teaching and communal spaces without having a negative impact on the surrounding Bloomsbury Conservation Area, which included several listed buildings. A key part of our role was to collaborate closely with the local planning authority, design and conservation offices to ensure the work was carried out sensitively. The eventual design saw space increased on each floor and two storeys added to the top levels of the building, resulting in 120% more usable floor space within the existing site footprint.
BuroHappold’s work on University College London’s 22 Gordon Street has contributed to the transformation of an important academic centre. Providing a reinvented home for the Bartlett School of Architecture, the new building reflects the quality of the academic work taking place within its walls.
Services and approach
When we integrate our specialist teams around an approach, the benefits to the client multiply