the royal college of art (RCA) has unveiled plans for a new building that will form part of its expanded battersea campus in south london. designed by swiss firm herzog & de meuron, following an international competition, the structure will contain studios, workshops, and incubator units for both postgraduate students and entrepreneurs. the RCA says that the flagship building will allow the university to continue to compete globally and attract high caliber personnel.

herzog de meuron RCA
all images © herzog & de meuron | video courtesy of RCA



sitting alongside the RCA’s existing dyson, woo and sackler buildings, the herzog & de meuron-designed structure will facilitate ten new programs. these include the college’s expansion into the domains of computer and materials science, the impact of the digital economy, advanced manufacturing and intelligent mobility — areas of research that, having already attracted collaborations with hyundai and burberry, the RCA says are ‘critical to the UK economy’.

herzog de meuron RCA



the proposed building appears as a stacked series of brick volumes that relate in both scale and materiality to the surrounding context. herzog & de meuron’s design also incorporates a new café and art materials shop with improved routes through the site which will be publicly accessible. meanwhile, other public realm improvements have also been proposed. the royal college of art has submitted proposals to london’s wandsworth council for the £108 million (approx. $141m USD) building. the project forms part of generationRCA, an ambitious five-year campaign program representing the most significant development in its history since the college was founded in 1837.

herzog de meuron RCA



‘the RCA is committed to nurturing the next generation of creative entrepreneurs,’ says dr paul thompson, vice-chancellor of the royal college of art. ‘we are thrilled with how herzog & de meuron have responded to our brief to create our new center in battersea to embody this vision, helping us to deliver transformational experiences for our students and ensuring that the UK continues to lead the world in art and design.’ see designboom’s previous coverage of the project here.

herzog de meuron RCA

herzog de meuron RCA

herzog de meuron RCA

herzog de meuron RCA

  • Doesn’t this look like making the mistakes of early 70s all over again

    Reza Rahmanian says:

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