RCA Celebrates Battersea Milestone as Woo Building Frame is Completed

The Royal College of Art celebrated a milestone in the development of the College’s Battersea campus’ earlier today, marking the completion of the Woo Building frame with a Topping Out ceremony. 

Rector of the Royal College of Art Dr Paul Thompson, Leader of Wandsworth Cllr Ravi Govindia and Vinci Project Manager Mark Johnson led the occasion, acknowledging the work and support so far in helping realise the RCA’s ambitious plans for the £8.4m Woo Building.

The Woo Building will be handed over by construction firm Vinci to the College in September 2014. Following a full fit-out, it will receive its first intake of students and researchers in January 2015. On completion, the building will house a world-leading research and teaching centre for Ceramics & Glass and Jewellery & Metal. The space will also provide technical facilities to foster innovation for future generations of applied artists. 

The interplay between disciplines is core to what makes studying at the RCA such a transformational experience for students and researchers. In having two of the School of Material programmes as neighbours, an added dimension will be brought to the work being produced by the School of Fine Art.

‘Today's topping off ceremony marks another significant milestone for the RCA’s new Battersea campus, currently comprising the Dyson, Sackler and Sculpture buildings,’ commented Rector of the Royal College of Art Dr Paul Thompson. ‘When our applied arts programmes move into the Woo Building in January 2015, they will moving into the finest facilities to be found anywhere in Europe.’

Topping out the Woo Building not only marks a key stage in the development of the building but also celebrates the RCA’s successful ongoing relationship with the borough of Wandsworth.

Dr Thompson pointed out that, ‘Wandsworth, under the leadership of Cllr Ravi Govindia, has shown tremendous acuity in establishing the borough as London’s newest and most creative hub.’

Dr Thompson also thanked construction firm Vinci and architects Haworth Tompkins, Chair of the College’s Buildings & Estates Committee Joanna Kennedy, and other friends and donors. He concluded by thanking Sir Po Shing Woo, Lady Helen Woo and their son Nelson for many years of support for the College’s students, and especially for their generosity in helping to make the Woo Building a new home for applied art at the RCA.

Councillor Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council, congratulated the RCA on the milestone, adding that the College was highly instrumental to the borough’s placemaking. Creativity, and supporting creative enterprise is, Cllr Govindia remarked, central to the Wandsworth’s mission.