Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) were in need of additional space to expand their teaching capacity in London. We worked with the client to understand their real estate strategy, considering options such as a full relocation but ultimately deciding on the creation of a satellite space that would complement their campus on Fashion Street. We identified a location with the use-class of an education space on the fringes of the City, transforming the building to meet GCU’s requirements.
GCU’s new space provides seven teaching areas over two floors, providing alternative facilities to their Fashion Street campus. We delivered several teaching spaces, designed around existing column structures so as to not compromise line of sight in the teaching rooms, in addition to computer labs designed for graphics courses and smaller rooms for one-to-ones between students and tutors. An operable wall was also installed, providing flexibility to open up the space to hold large groups of students for exams. The complementary campus is designed to supply the necessary spaces for teaching whilst also bringing students together as a collective.
The off-site space needed to preserve the university’s culture, utilising the concept of a ‘sticky campus’ to create a destination hub that students would be drawn to. To help evoke a sense of belonging, vibrant graphics cover the walls demonstrating GCU’s commitment to their students. Their signature navy brand colour remains central to the design, seamlessly blended with lively, bright tones to provide an energetic atmosphere. A bleacher area also encourages a community feel within the space, located in an uninterrupted area which can be used to hold presentations or as informal social space.
With many postgraduate and international students using the space, we looked to maintain a strong GCU identity for the space and link it back to its Glasgow legacy to encourage students to feel part of a collective. Inspired by Glasgow’s Sighthill Bridge, a burnished red shade is subtly integrated into the architectural features. The reception desk showcases a unique rust–effect laminate which also manifests at the tea point and within several furniture pieces, capturing GCU’s Glasgow heritage whilst tailoring it to the London location.
The process of transforming this property into a space fit for education that is right for GCU’s London-based students meant working closely with the client to establish their requirements and develop an inclusive space that will enable students and staff to study, work and socialise. The result enables Glasgow Caledonian University to offer their London-based students additional space and to continue building their community and identity London.