Having delivered the Royal College of Art's masterplan in 2014, iDEA were commissioned to design their new campus in White City, a move that has facilitated their wider strategy by providing swing space for works at their Kensington and Battersea sites. Whilst temporary, this campus extension will be in place for a minimum of five years and therefore needed to perform and feel like an RCA space in every sense.
The White City campus works as a satellite studio to the two main sites and is both self-sufficient in terms of its facilities, and very well connected physically and spiritually.
A third, remote site posed some serious challenges to the College in terms of student experience. For some students this will be all they will know of the College so in terms of reputation, it was vital that the scheme was both functionally and aesthetically sympathetic to the RCA brand. One of the ways we achieved this consistency was by working alongside the Dean of Communication, Neville Brody, who produced the wall graphics for the project.
The campus comprises of public exhibition space, a multifunctional cafe and events space, ‘light’ technical facilities, flexible seminar and lecture facilities, as well as studio and learning spaces.
Our design focuses on the building providing a functional backdrop to the teaching activities and student’s work. Because of this, we designed the workbenches for the studio space. We designed them to be a kit of parts - a durable scaffolding system, which the college can relocate, reassemble and reorder parts easily. We wanted this tailored space to encourage students to customise their own environment.