Bennett Associates’ East End college HQ completes


New student development secures planning

© Peter Cook

The Royal College of Pathologists has relocated to a new building in east London designed by Bennetts Associates. The completion of the 4,500 m2

building on Alie

Street in Aldgate marks the final step in the college’s move from a traditional Grade 1 listed building in St James to contemporary, purpose-built premises. The design of the new building addresses the college’s mission to advance the science and practice of pathology and to better serve its membership. The new college ‘HQ’ is designed to accommodate the college’s changing space needs, and help it meet its strategic development objectives, providing a wide range of flexible educational, workplace, social spaces and meeting and working areas for visiting members.

The new building uses materials and artefacts to “reflect the character of the college, with social areas, staff offices and education spaces that reference its history and look to its future,” said Bennetts Associates. The building’s sixth floor steps back, creating an open-plan pavilion with panoramic views over London. The large double-height reception space can be used for hosting public exhibitions and events while the full height windows at ground

floor level “create transparency and a sense of openness” said the architects. The building features “enduring and timeless” materials: the concrete frame unifies the building and integrates structure, services and lighting. The brickwork cladding, also present in the grand atria, stitches the spaces together. The structure features large spans and few columns for built-in flexibility, while a variety of materials and techniques add texture to the internal spaces.” Board-marked concrete, coffered concrete soffits and waxed mild steel staircases are complemented by walnut timber panelling and perforated brick walls. Environmental efficiency also played a key role in the design with exposed coffered concrete slabs used throughout the building as part of the passive cooling strategy. By increasing the surface area of thermally active concrete, the architects were been able to significantly improve the environmental efficiency of the building. The building benefits from excellent natural daylight provided by the large atrium that brings light into the deeper plan office spaces. The core is set to one side to provide optimum daylight penetration and flexibility for a site constrained by party walls on either side.

Runnymede Borough Council has granted planning permission for a new student residential development on Egham High Street in Surrey. Designed by tp bennett, the scheme will provide high quality student accommodation in two separate buildings. Situated in the town centre, it will supplement the variety of accommodation available for the expansion of the local university over the next few years. The design of the development is “a contemporary interpretation of Egham’s unique architectural character that reflects the materiality, scale and detail of the town centre and its immediate neighbours,” said the architects. A heritage study was carried out to fully understand the local surroundings and how this architecture would be reflected in the design of the new building. Situated within the conservation area, tp bennett’s design response was “careful balance between acknowledging its prominent location at the end of the high street and its sensitive context.” The scheme will comprise 107

studio rooms across two buildings within ground and two upper floors as well as pitched roof accommodation, including amenity space on the ground floor, with a cinema room, social space and gym. In addition, the plans include the creation of two flexible retail units that “breathe new life into this end of the high street.” In terms of sustainability, the scheme also incorporates a thermally efficient external envelope, natural ventilation and photovoltaic panels.




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