The ambition of the RCA means we are always seeking to improve the facilities for our students, academic staff, technicians and visitors.
The expansion of the Royal College of Art's Battersea Campus is an important step in the RCA's evolution into a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics)-focused postgraduate university.
Designed by renowned architects Herzog & de Meuron, our new, state-of-the-art building will sit alongside the RCA’s existing Dyson, Woo and Sackler Buildings and Clore Innovation Centre, on the south bank of the River Thames.
The striking new building represents the most significant development of our campus since 1961. As the Darwin Building set out the vision for art and design in Britain in the post-war era, so the new Battersea Building will define these creative disciplines in the twenty-first century.
The new building is designed as two separate but interconnected spaces that provide approximately 15,000sqm of distinct, flexible areas for teaching and research.
- The Studio Building has three floors of naturally lit and ventilated studios located above a complex of sophisticated workshops – from hand-craft to robotics – which will form the creative hub of the campus.
- The Research Building labs host advanced manufacturing and intelligent mobility – which form part of the new vision for the RCA. It will also house the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design and the university’s expanded incubator programme, InnovationRCA, which will see the number of supported start-up businesses increase two-fold.
- A double-height hangar will allow students to assemble, prototype or display large-scale artworks or inventions, providing opportunities to open up the RCA campus to the public and support an enhanced cultural programme.
- A new café and art materials shop will open to the local community, alongside other public realm enhancements, with improved routes through the site to connect the new building to the surrounding area.
The College’s desire to provide the best student experience and state-of-the-art facilities has driven the establishment of this creative quarter in Battersea.
Since 2008 the RCA has invested over £38.8 million in our existing 8,000sqm Battersea site, creating state-of-the-art workshops, student
studios, a lecture theatre, gallery and an incubator for start-ups emerging
from student projects.
The first two phases of this project enabled the creation of the Sackler Building, opened in 2009 and providing purpose-built studios for Fine Art; the Dyson Building, opened in 2012 to house Print, Photography, a 220-seat lecture theatre, an exhibition space and InnovationRCA, the College’s entrepreneur hub; and in 2015 the Woo Building, marking the final phase of the project and housing modern project spaces and some of the best facilities in the world for Ceramics & Glass and Jewellery & Metal.
"Our design is rooted in the surrounding townscape – it is simple, robust and flexible, and delivers a formula for the transforming dynamic of the RCA."Ascan Mergenthaler
Senior Partner, Herzog & de Meuron