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RCA Reaches Major Milestone in Construction of New Flagship Campus in Battersea

The construction of our new flagship campus in Battersea, designed by world leading architects, Herzog & de Meuron, reached a major milestone today when Kier poured 135m3 of concrete on what will be the first slab of the 16,500 sqm building. 

The first continuous concrete pour marks the first slab laid in the new Studio Building. The RCA looks forward to opening the doors to students in autumn 2021.

The new Battersea flagship building, situated alongside the existing campus, is conceived as two conjoined buildings: one for research, innovation and knowledge exchange (the Rausing Research & Innovation Building) and one for teaching, learning and innovation. It will act as a radical spatial catalyst that will foster greater cross-disciplinary working within the new types of studio and workshop spaces. The new space will be available to all students, including, printmakers and textile students; sculptors and jewellery designers; vehicle designers and architects; performance artists and filmmakers,

At its heart will lie a dramatic double-height hangar space – an agora where large-scale works can be assembled and displayed, where students and the general public can gather for talks, performances, screenings and exhibitions.

A walkway through the campus will be open during the day, drawing in members of public, referencing the original Victorian street grid of this quarter of London. The RCA’s close neighbours include the headquarters of fashion designer Vivienne Westwood and architects Foster & Partners. 

The RCA commissioned Simone Mudde (RCA MA Photography, 2019) to capture this milestone moment in the creation of the new Battersea Campus. The resultant images demonstrate Simone's unique artistic style which revisits a 19th century technique of colour separation in order to create coloured images from black and white negatives. The images highlight the passing of time and the latency of movement.

This was Simone's fourth time on site as over the past two years, she has worked with a group of fellow RCA artists and researchers to document the construction of the new Battersea campus as part of an artistic research laboratory called ‘Future Archive’.

A public exhibition, depicting paintings, photographs, texts, performances and experimental responses to the new campus runs at Battersea from 17 September – 1 October.  For more information, click here.