It was with great excitement that we collaborated with world-renowned Swiss architecture firm Herzog de Meuron on the new £108m RCA post-graduate campus at Battersea South. The design scheme of this 15,000-square-metre campus will complete the landmark phase in the RCA’s 180-year history, marking its transformation from the world’s leading Art and Design University into a post-graduate university under the following majors; Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics.
At the 2016 invited competition, Herzog & de Meuron succeeded in beating off stiff competition including household names such as Christian Kerez, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Lacaton & Vassal, Robbrecht en Daem architected, Serie Architects and Studio Gang. Their winning proposal was noted for its “strong engagement with the existing College buildings and wider surroundings in Battersea.”
Herzog & De Meuron’s Senior Partner Ascan Mergenthale said of the high-profile scheme; “We took our inspiration from the RCA ethos of experiment and making to explore the possibilities of spatial organisation, and to test the physical expression of bringing together the worlds of science, art, design and technology under one roof.”
AVR London produced both sets of illustrative and verified images for this project. Working alongside HDM and CityDesigner heritage and townscape consultants, we produced twenty-two verified views and six illustrative images. These included day and dusk visualisations with bespoke photography of students taken at the beginning of the project. The requirement was to convey a sense of vibrancy through the illustration of heavily populated scenes. We were also required to illustrate scenes of abundant activity within a multicultural, ‘melting-pot’ setting so as to attract a wide spectrum of future post-graduates from all different social and cultural backgrounds.
Much time was given to modelling the elaborately textured brickwork, which is notably similar to the brick used in Herzog & de Meuron’s Switch House at the Tate Modern. This brickwork was one of the main focuses of the imagery as Herzog and de Meuron was aiming to integrate the building into the culture of the area by matching the building’s surface texture to that of its surrounding architectural landscape. The bricks were also a feature used to emphasise the lines and form of the building, along with the aid of the perforated textures in the place of windows. In the style of the RCA’s Dyson Building and Sackler Building, both designed by Haworth Tompkins, the building is also to be crowned with a saw-tooth roof.
To publicly announce the submission of the planning application, these images were featured in major publications such as Dezeen, the Londonist, ArchDaily, World Architecture, Architect’s Journal and Building Design magazine.