The successful redevelopment of the Quad as the new home of Engineering at King’s is of immense pride to the University and delivers on a key ambition set out in King's Vision 2029.Nick O’Donnell, Director of Estates & Facilities
27 November 2023
King's new home for engineering wins Building Award
The Quad has been awarded ‘retrofit/refurbishment project of the year’ at the 2023 Building Awards
A project that transformed the heart of King’s Strand campus into a new home for the Department of Engineering has won best Retrofit/Refurbishment project of the year at the 2023 Building Awards.
Since it opened in September 2022, the newly restored Quadrangle has provided students and staff with a newly transformed and restored space at the heart of the Strand campus. The Quad as it is known, is now, consisting of an attractive courtyard and outdoor space beneath which, almost 3,000 square metres have been brought into use over two floors to provide state of the art engineering labs.
The labs have been fully fitted with cutting edge research tools and equipment and designed to position place-based learning and design areas opposite lab spaces, enabling students to move from theory to problem solving and to creating new products. This allows students to theorise and test solutions at the same time, fosters collaboration, making it a hands-on teaching and project working environment. It also encourages interdisciplinary research and teaching by integrating maker spaces with flexible teaching facilities that facilitate interactive learning and hybrid physical/digital teaching.
Nick O’Donnell, Director of Estates & Facilities for King’s said:
“The successful redevelopment of the Quad as the new home of Engineering at King’s is of immense pride to the University and delivers on a key ambition set out in King's Vision 2029.
We are delighted this has been recognised at the Building Awards, which is further evidence of the brilliant work that has gone into this project from many colleagues and partners since its conception to provide a welcoming, engaging and unique space for our community to experience and thrive within.”
The Building Awards are a national awards ceremony organised by Building magazine where the best projects are judged across a variety of categories. The Quadrangle Project was judged on design, sustainability, innovation, construction performance, procurement and teamwork, with King’s winning in a category made up of contenders including the Elizabeth Tower, the National Portrait Gallery and St John’s College, Cambridge.
Commissioned by King’s, Hall McKnight architects were tasked with designing and refurbishing the Quad to re-establish a ‘lost axis’ of the original masterplan for the site, whilst knitting together the Grade I-listed King’s Building and the 1950s Quad Building.
Ian McKnight, Partner at Hall McKnight added:
“The design and construction of The Quadrangle Project was extremely demanding. The site is highly constrained both physically and in terms of heritage, and with construction work starting in the autumn of 2019 just before the pandemic there were many challenges to overcome.
Huge credit is due to all involved, and we would especially like to acknowledge the perseverance and considerable commitment of King’s Estates in supporting the endeavours of a dedicated and skilled project team to deliver a highly successful project.”
Professor Barbara Shollock, Head of the Department of Engineering said:
“The design and development of the Quad Space has resulted in amazing facilities where our students can interact with each other, academics, and technical support staff.
These spaces and their free-flowing nature allow students to move from brainstorming and sharing designs to prototyping in the maker spaces. The interaction of old and new features in the build emphasises to our student the importance of sustainable design, further enriching their educational experience in engineering at King’s.”
The design and development of the Quad Space has resulted in amazing facilities where our students can interact with each other, academics, and technical support staff.Professor Barbara Shollock, Head of the Department of Engineering
The design has also enabled King’s ambitious sustainability goals, as whilst the original structure of the space was retained, the building façade has been refurbished to upgrade thermal performance and improve daylight. As such, the design also celebrates the exposed surfaces of the original brick-vaulted structure within the space, juxtaposed against the bold helical concrete staircase, thoughtfully highlighting the helix of DNA, the discovery of which was made possible by scientist Rosalind Franklin’s work at King’s in the 1950s in the same building.
The redevelopment of the Quad at the Strand campus was led by Estates and Facilities in conjunction with IT, NMES and the Department of Engineering.