The new Sackler Building is the first phase of a major new campus for the Royal College of Art designed by Haworth Tompkins. It provides accommodation for the Painting School and allows all the students to work together under one roof for the first time in over 10 years. The brief was to create contemporary purpose built studios to match the quality and character of the very best traditional painting studios in London, such as the generous Victorian studios at the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) or the Royal Academy.
“Haworth Tompkins has established its own brand of hardwearing arts architecture in buildings that acknowledge the visceral, semi-industrial nature of art and theatre production...the new RCA building sits firmly and comfortably within the practice's own oeuvre.”
Edwin Heathcote, The Architects Journal
The Sackler Building converts a single story factory building into a series of new day lit spaces by removing the original pitched roof and inserting a new independent steel structure within the existing brick enclosure. This significantly increases the height of the building, providing several double height, 7m high studios along with a mezzanine level, which houses a number of smaller top lit, 3.5m high studios. The dramatic new profiled 'sawtooth' roof provides north light to all the studios providing ideal conditions for painting.
The organisation of the studios, which are arranged off generous corridors, provides a social space and temporary exhibition venues, a space that everyone moves through, past the work of other students, past and present.
Sackler Building: Painting Department
Address: 14-22 Howie Street, Battersea, London
Completion Date: October 2009
Construction Cost: £2.9M
Client: Royal College of Art
Contractor: LIFE Build Solutions Limited
Structural Engineer: Price and Myers LLP
Services Engineer: Max Fordham LLP
Quantity Surveyor: Gardiner & Theobald
Planning Consultants: DP9
CDM Coordinator: PFB Construction Management Services
BCI Small Building Award (Shortlist)
RIBA Award (London Region)