University campus, Aldgate East,
London, UK, 2015

The client’s brief was to adapt the former St. George's Brewery - a grade-II listed brick building recently extended with an open concrete-framed shell - into an undergraduate campus. Our project aims to complement and enhance the rich mixture of spatial characters in the building, drawing attention to ceiling height differences, column sizes and existing surfaces.

Key to this organisation was the insertion of a new, generously scaled staircase – a striking sculptural wooden element that provides physical connection and visual links across and between the floorplates. The material language of timber carpentry extends from the staircase to all other insertions within the existing fabric.

In the newer concrete-framed building the timber elements take the form of full-height walls that create acoustically sealed lecture rooms, while within the old brick brewery spaces, a number of smaller new rooms were created. Conceived as large, free-standing elements for meetings and private study, they echo the large brewing vats and tuns that once occupied the building. 

Competition: 2013
Contract value: 3.5 million
Gross internal area: 4,300 m2

RIBA National Award 2015
RIBA Regional Award 2015
Shortlisted for AJ Retrofit Awards 2015
Shortlisted for Wood Awards 2015

Photographs: Kristien Daem