University College London’s plans to create a second campus within the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, East London, has gained outline planning permission with unanimous approval from the Planning Decisions Committee. It’s a great result for joint applicants UCL and the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC).
The masterplan for UCL East, by LDA Design, moves the needle on higher education design with an open and permeable campus that will create a great place to learn and help secure better education and employment outcomes for local people.
Peter Maxwell, LLDC’s Director of Design, commented: “This is an amazing project and once complete will provide up to 190,000m2 for new academic facilities and student residential. Well done to all involved and look forward to seeing the first phase of buildings being open in the next few years.”
In seeking to overcome traditional barriers between world-leading higher education institutions and the public, the masterplan for UCL East 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. Lower floors are inviting and highly accessible to all.
The masterplan was informed by intensive public consultation and tested against higher education benchmarks to maximise development potential.
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.
For more information, please contact LDA Design’s Graciela Moreno.