Foreign Office Architects

Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication . London

source: Foreign Office Architects . dezeen . façade pictures courtesy of George Rex Photography . more info: arqa

The new building for the Ravensborne in Greenwich will be located facing the Millennium Dome building. By moving to this extraordinary location, the colleague aims to update its facilities, engaging with digital technologies and becoming a hub for the design and media industry expected to flourish in this new sector of London.

The building is designed to enforce cross-fertilisation between the different departments in the school and the community of practitioners. The function are structured around a system of two interconnected atria. The atria have been systematically attached to the external facade in order to be used not only as ventilation devices, but also to visually connect the core of the public spaces in the building with its urban surroundings.

video: bdonline

In order to archive optimum environmental performance, low maintenance and high flexibility, the massing has been kept as compact as possible, with a very low ratio of faade to area. The need for studio spaces and workshops and the low-lighting levels required by the film studios and predominantly IT-based activities lend themselves naturally to this typology of space. The architecture of the building aims to capitalise on the tradition of Arts and Crafts Schools in the UK, from which Ravensbourne is an offspring. Gothic rose windows and flower patterns have been a rich field of inspiration for the project, but in this building they will not be produced as imitation of nature but as an abstract mathematical construction, based on a non-periodic tessellation pattern which allows seven different types of windows to be built out of only three different tiles.

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