The RCA Dyson Building is the most significant new development to the Royal College of Art since it moved to Kensington Gore in 1962 and forms the centrepiece of the RCA's new Battersea Campus. It contains the printmaking and photography programmes, new business incubator units, a gallery and 220-seat lecture theatre.
The building is conceived as a creative 'factory' both in the industrial sense (as a place of industry), and through the reference to Andy Warhol's 'Factory' as a place of art production. The building's aesthetic is functional and derives from the way it has been made - an in-situ concrete structure, exposed throughout and used expressively to form a series of dramatic interlocking spaces.
“Haworth Tompkins have mirrored our educational aspirations. They have created vistas, walkways and cut-throughs that allow all the building's very different occupants to interact in true RCA interdisciplinary style.“
Paul Thompson, Rector
The fluid relationship between programmes is a key characteristic of the RCA's success and the building has been developed with programme heads to create 'horizontal drift' between disciplines. Processes take place in highly visible proximities to one another - three or four will be visible on each journey around the building and from the street outside.
The cross-fertilisation of ideas that is present and encouraged on the courses also is enhanced through the additional inclusion of start-up incubator units for new businesses within the main building, blurring the boundary between the academic and the commercial.
Dyson Building: Department of Fine and Applied Arts
Address: Howie Street, Battersea, London
Completion Date: September 2012
Construction Cost: £13.8M
Client: Royal College of Art
Project Manager: AECOM Davis Langdon
Contractor: Wates Construction
Structural Engineer: Price and Myers
Services Engineer: Max Fordham
Quantity Surveyor: Gardiner & Theobald
Planning Consultant: DP9
CDM Coordinator: PFB Construction Management Services
RIBA London Award
New London Award
New London Award : Mayor's Prize Commendation
Wandsworth Design Awards : Best New Building
Wandsworth Design Awards : Mayor's Award