A global creative community
London offers the developing artist or designer a creative melting pot. Home to an international community of designers and artists, its renowned art and design schools make it a global centre for culture, from fashion to film. London also has an array of amazing social and cultural opportunities, with a wide variety of bars, cinemas, theatres and other entertainments.
“London is diverse, vibrant and inspired... With so much happening in this city, there’s always something to do, see or experience. When I’m not busy working in the studio or library, I find myself visiting many museums and sampling new cuisines. What a place to be!”MA Intelligent Mobility, 2017–present
The RCA has had its roots in Battersea for over 25 years, and intends to contribute to the developing cultural quarter with a new building, designed by Herzog & de Meuron.
As well as world-leading facilities and technical support to underpin our academic teaching, the Battersea site boasts a rich cultural offering of scheduled talks by leading artists, curators, writers and critics, including the School of Arts & Humanities Research Lecture Series, exhibitions and events.
New Battersea campus
In 2016, the RCA was given exceptional funding by the UK Government to create a new building in Battersea, to house art and design programmes including Fashion, Textiles and Sculpture, as well as new Research Centres in Intelligent Mobility, Robotics and Material Futures.
Construction is underway at the Royal College of Art's expanding Battersea Campus, to create a state-of-the-art building for postgraduate students and entrepreneurs, following our planning approval by Wandsworth Council in January 2018. The building will secure the RCA’s future in Battersea and deliver new studios, workshops and incubator units to support the College's future.
This new flagship building is part of the RCA’s most exciting phase in its 181-year history, marking the College's transformation into a dynamic STEAM-focused postgraduate university (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics). As the world’s leading art and design university, the expansion of the Battersea Campus will enable the College to continue to compete globally and attract the highest calibre students and future entrepreneurs.
The new building is designed by Herzog & de Meuron and will sit alongside the RCA’s existing Dyson, Woo and Sackler Buildings. It will provide space for ten new programmes and the expansion of research and knowledge exchange centres including computer and materials science, the impact of the digital economy, advanced manufacturing and intelligent mobility. These areas of research and learning are critical to the UK economy, and the RCA has already attracted partnerships with world-leading businesses, including collaborations with Hyundai-Kia and Burberry.
The project will also bring benefits to the local community with a new café and art materials shop, a public engagement programme, and improvements to the area of Radstock Street in front of the Research Building.
Battersea is increasingly becoming known as London’s new creative quarter, with a wealth of cultural assets and a growing number of galleries. Innovative tech companies are moving in, including Apple, which is making Battersea its UK headquarters. Our new flagship building will add to this vibrant mix and aligns with the London Borough of Wandsworth’s ambitions for the area.
In summary, the project will provide:
- A new 16,000sqm building providing distinct areas for teaching, innovation and research
- New research centres, and increased support for small graduate start-up businesses through an expanded InnovationRCA incubator programme
- A double-height covered street hangar space for large-scale objects to be assembled and exhibited
- A new publicly accessible café and art materials shop
- Improved routes through the site to link the new building to the existing Battersea campus and surrounding area
- Additional cycle parking spaces to encourage continued sustainable travel
- An enhanced cultural programme
The Royal College of Art's historic Kensington campus is iconic, located in the 'Albertopolis' district of London, alongside the Victoria and Albert Museum and Imperial College, flanked by Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park – the largest green space in London – and next to the Royal Albert Hall.
Designed by H T Cadbury Brown and opened in 1962, the heart of the Kensington site is the Modernist Darwin Building, named for post-war Rector Robin Darwin (grandson of Charles Darwin).
Alongside taught programmes, in Kensington you'll find the RCA's extensive Library, including Special Collections and the Colour Reference Library, as well as extensive Technical Services resources and Student Support.
RCA White City
Located in the BBC Media Village, the RCA's White City campus opened in September 2017 as the newest addition to the RCA campus, and is equipped with state of the art bespoke studio, workshop and technical spaces that have been designed particularly for RCA students. The site adds a new dimension to the College's cultural offer, with opportunities for collaborations, exhibitions and events.