University College London, Here East


Size: 32,206 sq ft

Value: £6.9m

Duration: 33 Weeks

Project: Refurbishment

Contract: GC Works Design & Build


As we were working with UCL’s project architect Hawkins Brown on a separate project directly for
Here East, a strong fusion between the two design principles was established from the outset and the bond between the technical and interior design expertise was formed and strengthened.
Having been very familiar with the site and it’s constraints we were able to mobilise very quickly,
ideal as there are a number key structural elements to the project, each of which requires careful design development. These elements are mezzanine, strong floor construction and piling, tiered seating and complex large scale fixed joinery items.

Of particular interest is the 13m x 9m ‘strong floor’ a ground-breaking multifaceted design and the first in Europe. We had to dig out the existing floor and sink piles 15 metres below ground to re-instate a thicker slab incorporating a variety of end user fixings to accommodate a testing rig and test chamber which, when installed on top of the concrete, will allow simulation of severe and adverse weather conditions, such as tsunamis and earthquakes, on experimental construction materials and methods. The strong floor was constructed within very tight tolerances as air skates will be used to move materials around once complete.

Other elements of the project include an auditorium, multiple robotic research areas, workstations for students, laboratories, lecture theatres and break out areas. Together, we have been able to share experiences, working with materials, lighting and colours all specific to the building and its location.

The mezzanine and auditorium were installed before material finishes were applied. A second project, separately tendered, has been secured adjacent, for the fit-out of the Institute
of Real Estate which is on site and due to complete at the end of August 2017.


On completion, the large collaborative space at Here East (formerly the Broadcast Centre on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park) will provide the focus for UCLs robotics research technologies that will include advanced IVF and surgical methods, at the very small human scales, as well as advanced manufacture, digital fabrication, structures, testing and inspection at large scales. For example, the space will include state-of-the-art equipment for simulating challenging environments to test historic and novel structures and materials subjected to extreme environmental conditions and mechanical loading.

The space will be used to develop a centre for cross-disciplinary world class research, engineering and teaching for the following academic groups:
• The Bartlett School of Architecture (BSA)
• Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering (CEGE)
• Computer Science and Centre for Medical Image Computing (CMIC)