Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Ravensbourne College in London, UK by Foreign Office Architects
March 11th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
The new building for Ravensbourne, a university sector college innovating in digital media and design, is located on the South-Eastern edge of The O2 building at Greenwich Peninsula. By moving to this extraordinary location, the college aims to deliver education to meet the shifting demands of 21st century learners who expect access to resources and support on demand, and whose needs differ greatly on account of a variety of social and economic factors. In line with these requirements, the new college building simulates the environment and working practices of creative professionals, providing the best in technology and mobile computing in an environment which enables a variety of learning styles.
The main design strategy has been to produce a structure which encourages collaboration between the different disciplines and practitioners within Ravensbourne. To achieve this, the building has been structured around a system of two interconnected atria, each piercing through three levels of program. The atria are systematically attached to the external façade allowing them to be used as ventilation devices as well as to visually connect the core of the public spaces inside the building with the perception of the urban surroundings. In order to have optimum environmental performance, low maintenance and high flexibility, the massing has been kept as compact as possible with a very low ratio of façade to area, and a deep building which is able to provides flexible space to host the various activities which take place in the building. The building has received a BREEAM qualification of environmental excellence.
The architecture of the building has been designed to express the culture of contemporary production through the use of a non-periodic tiling system which symbolises a more diverse and contemporary approach to technology. Gothic rose windows and flower patterns have been a rich field of inspiration for the project, produced not as an imitation of nature but as an abstract construction. To achieve this, we have created a façade which uses a non-periodic tiling pattern in which seven different types of windows were built from only three different tiles.
Foreign Office Architects team: Alejandro Zaera-Polo and Farshid Moussavi with Cristina Parreno, Maider Llaguno, Penny Sperbund, Azizah Sulor, Mio Sato, Emory Smith, John McLean, Daniel Spreier, Sukyeong Kim, Nankuei Lyn, Carmen Sagredo, and Changho Yeo
Client: Ravensbourne in Partnership with Meridian Delta Ltd.
Project Manager for Meridian Delta Ltd.: Lend Lease Projects
Project Manager for Ravensbourne College: Bernard Williams Associates
Structural Engineering: Adams Kara Taylor
M & E Engineering: Scott Wilson
Accessible Environments Consultants: Arup Access
Cost Consultant: Gardiner & Theobald LLP
Employer’s Agent: Gardiner & Theobald LLP
Fire Consulting Engineers: Jeremy Gardiner Associates Ltd.
Acoustic Consultants: RBA Acoustics
Technical Performance Consultants for Facade: Buro Happold
Category: University Building
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