The Bartlett School of Architecture has been located in Wates House since 1975 and is consistently ranked among the top architecture schools worldwide. The building was originally designed to accommodate a faculty of 90 staff and 380 students. Since then The Bartlett, UCL’s Faculty of the Built Environment has grown considerably and currently the school now has around 1,000 students and 134 staff.
In 2012, UCL Estates and The Bartlett embarked on a project to undertake a refurbishment and extension of Wates House to ensure that the School of Architecture continues to provide excellence in teaching and research.
The refurbished building features:
• Additional floors
• An expansion to the south side of the building
• Brand new studios
• New social and cafe areas
• A contemporary, dedicated exhibition space
• Greatly expanded Bartlett workshops
The refurbishment, designed by leading architects Hawkins\Brown, doubles the space available in a modern, light-filled building built on the structural concrete frame of its predecessor. It provides students with the flexibility to work and learn as well as offering more studio and breakout space to encourage collaboration amongst students and staff.
There are also social and cafe areas throughout the building where the students and staff can relax. Architects, Hawkins Brown, specified a total of thirteen GEC Anderson stainless steel worktops, of varying sizes and configurations, on six levels of the building. A central feature to these social and cafe areas are GEC Anderson purpose-made stainless steel worktops with integral sinks and wet zones. Set within, neutral, birch ply cabinetry, the brushed satin stainless steel worktops provide a practical, attractive and highly durable sink / worktop solution. Stainless steel splashbacks were also included. The main contract was carried out by Gilbert Ash with M & E provided by Vaughan Engineering Services.
Edge profiles, sink sizes, taphole requirements and drainer details were precisely specified by the Architects. GEC Anderson were required to liaise with site for final dimensions, to enable production of the made to measure stainless steel worktops within the required timescale and to the prescribed specification.
Martin Tye, Managing Director for GEC Anderson comments “This was a really prestigious project for GEC Anderson. To be specified for the tea points provides us with a tremendous opportunity to show, first hand, the versatility and suitability of our product for use in this kind of environment.” He goes on to say “This kind of installation can only result from a clear design vision, combined with the desire to provide, really, the best and most practical solution possible for the end user."
“A large number of the Hawkins Brown team are alumni of the Bartlett and have fond memories of the old Wates House. This was a challenging and hugely rewarding project which has created a building that not only provides a rich mix of academic spaces, but is also better integrated to its environment and welcoming to the public,” said Euan Macdonald, partner at Hawkins Brown. Two and a half years since the construction began, the building was officially opened by the University of London Chancellor, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal on 16th December 2016.