University Square Stratford London, USS Building Development, Education Project Image, Design

University Square Stratford

USS Development, east London Building design by make architects, England, UK

6 + 4 Nov 2013

University Square Stratford London

Location: east London

Design: make

Two outstanding universities, one fantastic place to study

University Square Stratford – USS Building

4 November 2013 – We are pleased to announce the official opening of University Square Stratford by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Chancellor of the University of London, on Tuesday 5 November 2013.

University Square Stratford University Square Stratford
photographs © Simon Kennedy

University Square, situated at the heart of Stratford’s cultural quarter, is a unique collaboration between the University of East London and Birkbeck, University of London; two distinct universities whose partnership aims are to encourage access and progression into higher education. The campus offers an alternative model of higher education, with flexible part- and full-time, day and evening study opportunities to meet the growing aspirations of the people of east London.

Princess Anne at USS Opening:
Princess Anne University Square Stratford
photograph : Geoff Wilson

Professor John Joughin, UEL Vice-Chancellor, said: “It is great to see this partnership initiative come to completion and the first cohort of students come through the doors this autumn. University Square brings higher education into the communities of east London in a way that has never been done before and plays an important role in the remarkable transformation of this part of London.”

The Master of Birkbeck, Professor David Latchman CBE, said: “University Square is an exciting development in Birkbeck’s historic mission to extend the best higher education to all, and I am delighted to see our unique, evening taught provision established in east London. The shared nature of the building means that students in Stratford will benefit from a truly flexible, high-quality higher education offering.”

University Square Stratford University Square Stratford University Square Stratford University Square Stratford
photos © make architects

Designed by Make Architects and built by contractor VolkerFitzpatrick in association with AWW architects, the £33million state-of-the-art, five-floor campus comprises 8,600 sq metres of flexible teaching and performance space, as well as academic and administrative offices, orientated around a large, light-filled atrium. A range of student support services are on offer, including English language and academic learning support, specialist education advice and guidance, disability support and a student centre and helpdesk.

The building is a prime example of the latest technology and sustainable building design. Its features include more than 700 square metres of solar panels, rooftop habitats to increase biodiversity, three rooftop bat boxes, rainwater harvesting, and a garden at ground level. The Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) rating is excellent – the second highest category.

James Taylor, Partner at Make, said: “The architecture is an expression of what the project has achieved – the bringing together of a whole host of different spaces, departments and functions that serve two universities in one coherent building. The expressive form, granite external facades and concrete internal finishes work together to create a new landmark with a confident presence and a civic scale. The building will attract new students and give them an institution in which they can be proud of its quality and longevity.”

Charles Jordan, Associate and Architect at AWW inspired environments, said: “The collaboration at USS has resulted in a remarkable building and its aspirations have been exceeded on this challenging site. The bold design and high technical standards embodied in its construction will be an inspiration to all who use it. AWW is extremely proud to have been selected to work alongside VolkerFitzpatrick to deliver this unique project and to be part of the continued renaissance of Stratford.”

Anthony Clarke, senior project manager at VolkerFitzpatrick, said: “Having lived and breathed the project for over two years, it’s fantastic to finally see the facility in use. A huge amount of effort has gone into the project by the entire project team to finally cement the new and modern facility in the heart of east London. Construction took place through the Olympics with great success and created minimal impact to local businesses due to careful planning and local liaison.”

University Square Stratford University Square Stratford University Square Stratford University Square Stratford
images © make architects

About Make

Make is a studio of architects and designers committed to designing buildings, spaces and places which are as striking and innovative as they are socially, economically and environmentally responsible. Founded by Ken Shuttleworth in January 2004, the practice has already established itself as one of the UK’s foremost architectural firms. Current projects range in scale from private houses, residential towers and office developments to sports facilities, hospitals and urban masterplans.

About UEL

The University of East London (UEL) is a global learning community with over 28,000 students from over 120 countries world-wide. Our vision is to achieve recognition, both nationally and internationally, as a successful and inclusive regional university proud of its diversity, committed to new modes of learning which focus on students and enhance their employability, and renowned for our contribution to social, cultural and economic development, especially through our research and scholarship. We have a strong trackrecord in widening participation and working with industry.

About Birkbeck

Birkbeck was founded in 1823 by Dr George Birkbeck, who started a revolution in London’s education system by establishing a college specifically for working people. Part of the University of London, Birkbeck is a world-class research and teaching institution and London’s only specialist provider of evening higher education, making the very best university education accessible to non-traditional students.

Over 18,000 students from diverse social and educational backgrounds participate in a broad range of higher education opportunities at Birkbeck. Birkbeck ranks among the top 1% research-intensive universities in the world, according to the 2012 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. With over 90 per cent of academics research-active, the College is a vibrant centre of academic engagement and excellence. The College has consistently ranked number one in London in the National Student Survey.

About AWW

AWW inspired environments is an architectural practice championing a collaborative approach to creating exceptional built environments. We are renowned for delivering beyond expectations, with our successes celebrated most recently, and consistently, by AJ100 ‘Southwest Practice of the Year’ and ‘Best Place to Work’ awards in 2011, 2012 and 2013. This industry reputation is the result of the creativity, expertise and commitment of our team. AWW has 38 years of delivering inspired buildings, three UK offices in London, Bristol and Plymouth and we work across all sectors, both in the UK and internationally.

About VolkerFitzpatrick

VolkerFitzpatrick is a multi-disciplinary contractor with an annual turnover of c£400 million working in the civil engineering, building, rail, waste and energy infrastructure sectors. Founded in 1921 as Fitzpatrick Contractors the company has grown organically and now employs more than 600 people.

VolkerFitzpatrick’s success is based on ensuring it has a sound understanding of the client’s vision, which is then delivered on time and to budget. VolkerFitzpatrick is part of VolkerWessels UK, a multi-disciplinary construction and civil engineering group with a turnover of circa £700 million. VolkerWessels UK employs more than 2,000 staff in six operating companies. The group is the UK arm of Dutch based VolkerWessels; one of the largest construction groups in Europe.

University Square Stratford image / information from make architects

University Square Stratford design : make architects

Location: University Square Stratford, London, England, UK

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