A new Architecture School in Greenwich

Talking about the Stirling Prize again, I opted, as first building to be seen, for the new Architecture School for the University of Greenwich, in London, designed by the Irish firm Heneghan Peng Architects.

<< They designed even the Giant’s Causeway visitor’s centre in Northen Ireland where there’s the best landscape I’ve seen so far. Some pictures if you don’t know what I’m talking about 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  >>

Heneghan Peng Architects - arkitalker - London - Greenwich - architecture university Greenwich

Heneghan Peng Architects - arkitalker - London - Greenwich - architecture university GreenwichThe building is located within the UNESCO World Heritage Site so it was demanded to complement the sourrounding historical architecture, specially because of its scale and volume, and I think it does quite well. The University shows sensitivity towards the nearby buildings thanks to the materials choices which characterize it with a modern and recognizable configuration without being too obtrusive.

Heneghan Peng Architects - arkitalker - London - Greenwich - architecture university GreenwichThe elements that strike at first sight are its mass and materiality but these features are immediately softened by recesses and breaks within the continuity of the limestone facade which shows interesting traits thanks to the lights and shadows effect created by the large windows placed slightly backwards.

Heneghan Peng Architects - arkitalker - London - Greenwich - architecture university Greenwich

Heneghan Peng Architects - arkitalker - London - Greenwich - architecture university GreenwichI took a quick peek even inside but just at the ground floor since a badge is required to enter in the library or to have access to the proper university spaces. The interior looks completely dissimilar from the outside, in fact it is characterized by an industrial look and bare spaces with the raw concrete structure left visible.

Heneghan Peng Architects - arkitalker - London - Greenwich - architecture university GreenwichThe building offers even public spaces at the ground level thanks to the presence of a gallery for temporary exhibitions, a cafè and a shop directly accessible from the street.

Heneghan Peng Architects - arkitalker - London - Greenwich - architecture university GreenwichI’ve read the best part is on the roof which hosts terraces and gardens so hope to meet some students and be able to go and have a look!

Heneghan Peng Architects - arkitalker - London - Greenwich - architecture university GreenwichSo what do you think? Would you like your University to be like this?  Or better, do you think a contemporary architecture can encourage creativity and interest towards students’ studies?

My answer is totally positive, I was definitely fascinated when I visited the Wu Campus in Wien (for a moment I thought about a degree in Economics and Business just to be able to attend some courses there!)

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  1. […] nominee for the Stirling Prize 2015. After the new School of Architecture in Greenwich I went to South Bank (one of my favourite London’s districts) to have a look at the NEO […]

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