The Boilerhouse for Royal Holloway University of London Architecture, Building News, Design

The Boilerhouse for Royal Holloway, University of London

UoL Campus Renewal, England, UK – new café pavilion & event space design by Cartwright Pickard Architects

29 Jul 2017

The Boilerhouse for Royal Holloway, University of London Building

The Boilerhouse for Royal Holloway, University of London

Design: Cartwright Pickard

The Boilerhouse for Royal Holloway, University of London, comprises a new café pavilion and event space carefully inserted into the courtyard of the original Boilerhouse complex serving the Grade I Listed Founders Building as well as the refurbishment of the original stable block into a seating and servery area.

The Boilerhouse for Royal Holloway, University of London |

The project was procured for a set budget and within a very tight program leading the design team to look at innovative ways to reduce timescales in all areas of the project procurement allowing the project to be delivered to a fast-paced 6 months timeline post RIBA Stage 2, with a successful Listed Building Consent process within 1-2 months. The project was delivered on time and on budget.

The Boilerhouse for Royal Holloway, University of London |

The university was very hands on with the forms of procurement and agreed that a design and build contract off ered them greatness comfort on cost and programme. During the whole of the design and delivery of the scheme regular project board meetings were held between the University and the design team where progress was reviewed, additional design information was debated and fi nally any fixtures and fi ttings reviewed.

The Boilerhouse for Royal Holloway, University of London |

Although the program was fixed to meet the academic funding rounds and student programs of the university, the client was ambitious in their intent for a quality architectural space as well as the sitting of the new building. The site falls within the curtilage of the Grade I Listed Founders Building, therefore, the proposals for intervention involved detailed consultation with Historic England (HE) and the Local Authority Conservation Offi cer (LACO) to ensure the historic courtyard buildings, walls and fabric were protected and enhanced through a complementary palette of new materials and architectural form.

Cartwright Pickard initiated early consultations with both HE and the LACO to ensure that statutory consultation was undertaken in a smooth and timely manner. This enabled HE to be familiar and satisfied with the design proposals prior to the formal statutory consultation and eased the Listed Building Consent program and risk.

UoL Campus Renewal design by Cartwright Pickard Architects |

In order to meet the demanding programme and complexities of an occupied student campus, Cartwright Pickard designed the new pavilion to take advantage of prefabricated and off site methods of construction to allow for the early commencement of construction components prior to the site becoming available with follow on reduction in on site construction time and reduced snagging and defects due to the additional quality achieved by factory assembled components. Proceeding with a largely prefabricated solution meant that the structure could be tested off site and delivered ready for immediate erection limiting disturbance to the university and maintaining campus life.

UoL Campus design by Cartwright Pickard Architects |

The new pavilion, comprised of prefabricated off -site components including a fl itched steel plate and glulam timber superstructure with a curving sculptural saddle like copper roof lifting up and acknowledging the original Boilerhouse chimneys was designed to be lifted into the tightly constrained site in components with minimal site assembly. The superstructure including stainless steel braced bays has been complemented with a facade of glazing enabling the pavilion to sit lightly within the heritage context.

The pavilion provides a refined and robust response to its heritage context expressing the warmth of the original brick courtyard boundary wall whilst creating dramatic open access into the courtyard. Timber was the obvious choice for the prefabricated structure with its sustainability credentials, strength, quality and beauty. As a primary material used within the existing Boilerhouse and stables, the interplay between the original timber and the new glulam timber superstructure form an interesting dialogue.

The contextual, program effi cient, prefabricated and modern methods of employing timber were continued throughout the project through the choice of material for the soffi t panels. Birch plywood faced panels were chosen for their inherent strength, beauty and ability to take on the complex curvature of the roof form. Perforations within the panels allowed the soffi t to also act acoustically, enhancing its use and reducing pressure on the budget for additional materials. BIM allowed for accurate sheet cutting and perforation manufacturing, accommodating subtle dimensions of soffi t faceting, to a tight budget, fast paced programme, with minimal material waste.

The Boilerhouse for Royal Holloway, University of London |

Prototype sections of both superstructure and soffi t bay allowed refi nement and benchmarking to take place prior to manufacture as well as sign-off and acceptance by the client and the design team that the finished article would be of an assured standard, minimising time-consuming snagging and remedial works on site, allowing an eff ective and efficient delivery of the project from the off site supply chain. The roof aesthetic contributes to a natural ventilation occupant controlled environmental strategy. Underfl oor heating along with natural daylight, acoustic control through the soffi t treatment, specialist lighting and a brise soleil system reducing heat/solar gain.

The use of sustainable materials is complemented with the introduction of SUDS to the landscaped areas to mitigate flooding. Carparking numbers were reduced and turned over the pedestrian areas and the café encourages students to cycle with the provision of cycle racks. The welcoming internal and external spaces encourage social interaction and inclusivity adding the benefi ts the project brings to its users.

The Boilerhouse for Royal Holloway, University of London |

The Boilerhouse’s original structures include two soaring landmark brick chimneys which are visible outside the campus and a local landmark. New specialist lighting to each of the chimneys announce the site from afar and aff ord the complex a sense of drama. The lighting to the chimneys has been designed with the potential to engage students in the future by allowing for artistic graphic illumination which the university has considered running as student indicatives’. The complex has been completed with courtyard and landscaping upgrades creating improved external spaces and a more accessible approach into this area of the university campus making it more inclusive.

The Boilerhouse for Royal Holloway, University of London |

The new café pavilion has allowed for the existing café to be converted into new teaching spaces increasing the academic facilities on campus. The Boilerhouse has been beautifully designed as a sensitive intervention, enhancing the historic context in which it sits. It is extremely popular amongst staff and students alike, and has become a very well-used and vibrant campus space for the University.

The Boilerhouse for Royal Holloway, University of London |

“‘I believe the best thing about the Boilerhouse is the design. Instead of trying to replicate the Victorian building, it successfully marries the modern design with the historic character of the building and they work incredibly well together. Cartwright Pickard were very professional and positive to work with from the outset. They came with lots of ideas, they listened well, they understood our requirements, respected the fabric of the old Building, and it was them who came up with this inventive design which worked fabulously well. The café looks sublime and the feedback we had so far for the project has been remarkable, as both the students and staff love using it. The way the courtyard has been brought into life is extraordinary and on a sunny day it’s just a fantastic space to be.” Bob O’Keefe, Vice Principal and Dean of Management and Economics, Royal Holloway University of London

The Boilerhouse for Royal Holloway, University of London |

The Boilerhouse for Royal Holloway, University of London – Building Information

Location: Egham, London
Client: Royal Holloway, University of London
Area: 255sqm
Construction Value: £3million
Completion: 2016

Services Provided:
Architectural design
Refurbishment of Grade I listed building
Planning permission on Heritage site

Photography © Hundven-Clements

The Boilerhouse for Royal Holloway, University of London images / information from Cartwright Pickard

Cartwright Pickard Architects, UK

Website: The Boilerhouse for Royal Holloway, University of London

Address: Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey, TW20 0EX, England, UK

London Building Designs

Contemporary London Architectural Designs

London Architecture Links – chronological list

London Architecture Tours – bespoke UK capital city walks by e-architect

London Architects Offices

London Architecture News

Central Courtyard Space at London Metropolitan University
Landscape design: Gustafson Porter + Bowman
Public Square at London Metropolitan University
image courtesy of architects
Central Courtyard Space at London Metropolitan University

London Metropolitan University – Graduate Centre
Daniel Libeskind Architects
London Metropolitan University Graduate Centre

Centre for Lifelong Learning, Blackstock Rd, Finsbury Park, north east London
Wilkinson Eyre Architects
Centre for Lifelong Learning Islington

Emirates Stadium, Arsenal, north east London
HOK Sport
Emirates Stadium

Hornsey Town Hall, Crouch End
Reginald Uren
Hornsey Town Hall

Sadlers Wells Theatre, northeast London
RHWL with Nicholas Hare Architects
Sadlers Wells Theatre

Holloway – Housing, west of Holloway Road, north London
Design: various architects
Holloway Road housing

Landscape Architects

Landscape Architecture

Landscape Architecture Design

Gustafson Guthrie Nichol

Gustafson Porter

Grant Associates

London Metropolitan University Event
London Metropolitan University Event

Comments / photos for the The Boilerhouse for Royal Holloway, University of London page welcome

Website: Royal Holloway, University of London