Royal College of Art to transform campus and teaching methods

3 April 2019
Credit: Herzog & de Meuron
  • Herzog & de Meuron


United Kingdom

Herzog & de Meuron form integral part of GenerationRCA scheme

The Royal College of Art (RCA) in London has launched GenerationRCA, an ambitious five-year campaign representing the most significant development since the institution was founded in 1837. This programme will see the RCA transform both its campuses and the ways in which the university teaches, researches and creates. On a site immediately opposite its existing Battersea campus, a state-of-the-art building is scheduled for completion in 2021. Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the development is intended as a new blueprint for creative education.

The RCA’s academic vision is to inject key scientific disciplines into the mix of creative disciplines traditionally on offer, continuing along its recent path of introducing programmes such as Environmental Architecture and Digital Direction. On winning the contest, Pierre de Meuron noted that the RCA had set a challenging brief to visualise the spaces needed to inspire future innovation and expertise. He stated that the design process marked “an opportunity to rethink the RCA campus and establish the patterns of connectivity and organisation that will make a successful building.”

The new flagship building is conceived as two conjoined structures providing some 16,000 sqm of studios, workshops, labs and research centres. At its heart lies a dramatic double-height hangar space – an agora where large-scale works can be assembled and displayed, and students can gather for talks or performances. The development will also cater for the surrounding community, with the inclusion of a new café and art materials shop. Public walkways intersect the site, referencing the original Victorian street grid. 

To mark the launch of GenerationRCA, the college unveiled a new film created in collaboration with college alumnus, Sir Ridley Scott, which included glimpses into the creative worlds of Tracey Emin, David Hockney, Thomas Heatherwick and Asif Kapadia. At the event, Dr Paul Thompson, RCA Vice-Chancellor, stated: “The launch of GenerationRCA marks a real watershed in the Royal College of Art’s 182-year history. Founded in response to the first Industrial Revolution, today the RCA stands as the vanguard of a new era in art and design, which promises breakthroughs in robotics, autonomous vehicles, nanotechnology, and artificial intelligence.”

Lucy Nordberg
TenderStream Head of Research

This tender was first published by TenderStream on 28.07.2017 here

Start your free trial here or email our team directly at

Subscribe Now