The Strand Quadrangle . King’s College . London


The project for The Strand Quadrangle is constituted, fundamentally, by two elements: a new access that reorganises King’s College as a whole, and a grand space that serves as point of reference and articulates the entire public programme.

Both elements define a building that, with a few gestures, solves the complexity of its surroundings, and through an architecture expressed in pure essentials, is capable of expressing the values and attitude of King’s College.
The two main goals of the proposal are, on the one hand, to define, through architecture, the campus’s identity, and on the other fill it with meaning. This is achieved by establishing a centre of gravity that allows the connection of all of its elements.
The first goal is materialised by the entrance square and the gate located within it. This element, integrated into its historic context, synthesises the identity and spirit of the entire campus. By doing this, King’s College reaches the representative status that the institution requires.
The second goal, centred on achieving a great representational space for the campus, is linked to the architectural tradition of the colleges and as such aims at becoming a unified space, a place of opportunity in which, in a natural manner, the campus’ functional needs are solved. It is a space destined to become King’s College’s main reference space.

Public space. The Strand and The Embankment
The new entrance to King’s college is placed within the square defined by the campus. A new entrance gate clearly organises and defines the access way’s new centrality, in respectful integration with the group of historic buildings that frame it. This new feature, formally explicit, is respectful with the heritage if its surroundings as well as gives meaning to it by identifying both the new intervention and King’s

College as a whole.
Beginning with the entrance square, the project connects the different levels of the Strand and the Embankment through outdoor staircases. This connection transforms the public space into an urban artery that will simultaneously reinforce the proposal’s connection with its immediate surroundings and King’s College’s relationship with the city itself. The importance of public
space as defined by the campus is thus recovered by integrating it into the sequence of urban spaces.

The building.
Starting at the entrance gate, the building is made up of and organised by means of only two levels, which are interconnected by four structural cores. The placing of these levels responds to the need of connecting all of the campus’ elements in the simplest of possible ways.
On the first level and directly linked to the entrance, the hall and learning commons are placed. Moving the reception area from the Strand to this level allows for the channelling of flows that are external to the campus through the new public space, and all internal communications to occur through the new hall. By doing this, we achieve a coherently organised and functioning campus.

The hall. Learning commons.
The new hall clearly resolves all of the main connections between the buildings and their surroundings, directly interconnecting the campus’s three main buildings and also allowing for direct access from the outside through the entrance from the Embankment. To do so, instead of placing the first level at the connection height with King’s College as proposed in the competition brief, we place it at a lower level, +5.96, which in turn allows all three buildings to be connected at the same level and defines a volume with sufficient presence so as to become the identifying element of the campus.
Spatially, this volume’s features are four cores that solve the building’s connections and structure. They also help distinguish the space as well as differentiate and make independent the programme it holds. The reception area serves as a filter between the learning café, which has direct access from the river and the flexible group work area that is placed in direct relationship to the Strand. Access to the Arthur and Paula Lucas Theatre occurs in continuity, which in turn resolves in a direct manner its integration within the campus programme.
From a spatial a programmatic point of view, the height of this main spaces generates an educational space of enhanced flexible functionality. A space in with the ceiling heights, large structural spans and free circulation add to the building’s openness and different perceptions. All of these features offer a large variety of itineraries, meeting points and workstations, among others, and are a showcase of the College’s dynamic spirit.
The scale of the space, the skylights associated to the communication cores, and the large lateral openings that frame the views of the College, create the perfect environment for all of the educational activities that will take place there in the future.

Teaching rooms
The teaching rooms are entirely situated on the second floor of the building, placed at level +2.43. This level is accessed directly through the hall by means of the four structural cores that give the building its identity. From the Strand, access takes place from level -3.
By lowering two metres the present level of the two patios, the entire area will open up to them and become a high quality space that is completely flooded by natural light.

Accesses. Complementary Programme
The following is a brief description of the connections required and the complementary programme associated to them.

The Strand
The access from the Strand aims at giving King’s College visibility to the community as well as clarifying and organising the entrance into the inner public space. It is architecturally defined by an entrance gate that dignifies the access.
Directly linked to the street the touch down space and coffee shop are placed, both of which are complementary to the connections and the programme of the Strand building and the independent entrance to the Arthur and Paula Lucas Theatre. This part of the programme, in direct contact with the city, showcases King’s College’s ongoing activities and its impact on the community.

King´s Building
From the building’s reception area (+5.96), direct access to King’s Building and its general circulation system takes place. Contiguous to the reception area the service desk is placed as well as the learning commons’ supporting programme.
Sommerset House East Wing
Connection to the SHEW occurs directly through the general reception of the campus (+5.96). This allows for a direct and simple connection with the internal communication system of the SHEW.
The Embankment
The new access helps solve King’s College’s connection from an urban point of view, connecting the river level with the main access level and the River Terrace. At the same time a direct access is generated with the campus’ principal hall through the learning café. This new entrance to the campus, from Temple Underground station, helps make King’s College recognisable at an urban level as well as facilitates independent uses.
Linked to this entrance is the learning café’s supporting programme and an independent stairwell the directly connects with (and helps evacuate) the level of the teaching rooms.

Access to Arthur and Paula Lucas theatre.
The Arthur and Paula Lucas Theatre is clearly integrated into the general functions of the campus by creating a direct entrance to it from the campus’ great hall, following a ramp with a soft incline. An independent access from the Strand is also enhanced through exiting communication wells that will also serve the new coffee shop.
Classroom 2.23, influenced by this connection, is moved to level -1. (see plans)

The Strand Quadrangle
King’s College London
London, United Kingdom
King’s College London
10 Mayo _ 04 Septiembre 2012
3575 m2
£ 20.000.000 Total
Concurso Internacional

Equipo Director
Fabrizio Barozzi
Alberto Veiga

Cecilia Rodriguez
Arnau Sastre
Hyekwang Shin

1 comentarios :

22 de diciembre de 2012, 14:17 Gastón dijo...

Tiene mucha sustancia...sin duda la mejor propuesta de las shortlisted.

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