Consultation begins on UCL East planning application
University College London’s ambition to create a second campus away from its historic Bloomsbury setting is moving closer to realisation, with its planning application submitted for UCL East in Stratford.
The masterplan for UCL East, by LDA Design, moves the needle on higher education design. An open and highly permeable campus is proposed, developed in partnership with the London Legacy Development Corporation to help secure better education and employment outcomes for the local population.
In seeking to overcome traditional barriers between world-leading higher education institutions and the public, the masterplan takes a landscape-led design approach. It distils a clear and simple idea about connecting people and place through landscape: the sunny river banks which provide an ideal setting for a university are also the key to its integration, provided the local community has easy and inviting access.
Public routes and spaces are located on the waterfront. The Plaza at the heart of the campus is a multifunctional space for curation and programming, a confluence zone for academics, students and community users to encourage encounters. The built form is robust rather than iconic, and the lower floors are accessible and activated.
The masterplan was informed by intensive public consultation and tested against higher education benchmarks to maximise development potential. It proposes up to 190,800 sqm of academic and associated accommodation.
“We have aimed to deliver UCL’s vision for a more open academic environment that benefits the local community and LLDC’s vision for a lasting legacy from the London 2012 Games,” commented LDA Design’s Board Director, Selina Mason. “In developing the plan, we started where we always start, with how people will use the place.”
UCL East is part of the city’s emerging Cultural and Education District in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. UCL East will connect surrounding communities into the Park, and the plan is inspired by the informal riparian character of the Park and its rich biodiversity. Elsewhere on Stratford Waterfront, there are major new spaces for the V&A Museum, Sadler’s Wells, and a new campus for the University of the Arts London.
The planning consultation period runs to 12 July 2017.