Campus for Central Saint Martins
by Stanton Williams

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Campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams

Architects Stanton Williams have completed a new campus for art and design college Central Saint Martins in and around a Victorian granary and two former transit sheds in London.

Campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams

Two new four-storey buildings provide studio blocks between the two 180 metre-long sheds, one of which now houses workshops.

Campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams

Cycle stores are located in historic horse stables below this eastern shed, while shops and bars now occupy the ground floor of the western shed.

Campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams

Four-storey-high concrete walls frame the main entrance to the college, which leads into an internal street with overhead bridges and an arched, clear plastic roof.

Campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams

A performing arts centre located at the end of this street contains a 350-seat theatre for student performances.

Campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams

The refurbished former granary now houses a library and faces a public square currently under construction.

Campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams

Past projects by students at the University of the Arts college include functionless objects for unpredicted needs and rockers made from found chairssee all our stories about Central Saint Martins here.

Campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams

Stanton Williams also recently completed another UK university building - see our earlier story here about a research laboratory at Cambridge.

Campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams

Photography is by Hufton + Crow, apart from where otherwise stated.

Here's a more detailed description from Stanton Williams:


New University of the Arts London Campus Central Saint Martins at King’s Cross

To the north of King’s Cross and St Pancras International railway stations, 67-acres of derelict land are being transformed in what is one of Europe’s largest urban regeneration projects.

Campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams

The result will be a vibrant mixed-use quarter, at the physical and creative heart of which will be the new University of the Arts London campus, home of Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design.

Campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams

Stanton Williams’ design for the £200m new campus unites the college’s activities under one roof for the first time. It provides Central Saint Martins with a substantial new building, connected at its southern end to the Granary Building, a rugged survivor of the area’s industrial past.

Campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams

The result is a state-of-the-art facility that not only functions as a practical solution to the college’s needs but also aims to stimulate creativity, dialogue and student collaboration.

Campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams

A stage for transformation, a framework of flexible spaces that can be orchestrated and transformed over time by staff and students where new interactions and interventions, chance and experimentation can create that slip-steam between disciplines, enhancing the student experience. The coming together of all the schools of Central Saint Martins will open up that potential.

Campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams

The design aims to maximise the connections between departments within the building, with student and material movement being considered 3-dimensionally, as a flow diagram North to South, East to West, and up and down – similar in many ways to how the grain was distributed around the site using wagons and turntables.

Campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams

King’s Cross offered a unique opportunity: a large site within what promises to be a creative and cultural hub, connected (via King’s Cross Station and the restored St Pancras International) not only to the rest of Britain but also to mainland Europe, plus the chance to develop a robust contemporary architectural response to the boldness of the existing buildings on the site.

Campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams

The Granary Building itself has been restored as the main ‘front’ of the college, facing a new public square that steps down to the Regent’s Canal. The building was designed in 1851 to receive grain from the wheat fields of Lincolnshire, unloaded here from railway wagons onto canal boats for onward transport to the capital’s bakeries.

Campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams

It comprises a solid, six-storey cubic mass, with an unadorned, 50-metre wide brick elevation, extended to 100-metres by office additions flanking the building. To the north, located one to each side of the Granary Building, are two parallel 180 metres long Transit Sheds.

Campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams

The design strategy retains the Granary Building, adapted to include functions such as the college’s library, while the Eastern Transit Shed behind is converted to create spectacular workshops for the college. Within the street-level openings of the Western Transit Shed, new shops and bars will add further life to the area. The historic horse stables below the Eastern Transit Sheds have been transformed to new cycle stores for students and staff.

Campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams

The bulk of the college’s accommodation, however, is located in a major addition to the site, two substantial new studio buildings that occupy the space between the two transit sheds and which, at the North end of the site present a contemporary elevation to the surrounding area. The scale of the new addition responds closely to that of the Granary Building, essentially continuing its massing along the length of the site. It rises above the level of the transit sheds, using contemporary materials so that it will stand, beacon-like, as a symbol of the college’s presence within this rapidly-evolving part of London.

Campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams

The two new four storey studio buildings are arranged at either side of a covered central ‘street’, some 110m long, 12m wide and 20m high, covered by a translucent ETFE roof and punctuated by a regular rhythm of service cores that accommodate lifts, stairs and toilets. At the northern end, a new centre for the Performing Arts will house a fully equipped theatre complete with fly-tower as well as rehearsal and teaching spaces.

Campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams

The internal ‘street’ has been conceived as a dynamic area, an arena for student life, akin to the much-loved stair at the centre of the college’s previous main building. Bridges linking the various cores and workspaces cross it, offering break-out areas for meeting, relaxing and people-watching and exchanging ideas.

Campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams

The street will be used for exhibitions, fashion shows and performances, the spaces being large enough to build temporary pavilions for example. Viewing points allow students to watch others working or performing, and the work of other disciplines can be seen and exhibited.

Campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams

At the southern end of the new block and running parallel with the north end of the Granary Building is a second covered ‘street’, offering public access through this part of the building interior. Lifts rising through this space recall the vertical movement of grain, which gave the complex its original purpose.

Campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams

Flooring details either retain existing turntables or hint at their historic location, while within the Granary Building itself, the hoists have been retained, crowning a newly inserted lightwell. Simple glazing maintain the integrity of the unbroken openings, rhythmically punctuating the Granary Building’s main façade.

Campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams

The new University of the Arts London campus is one of the first parts of the King’s Cross development to be completed. As such, it not only provides Central Saint Martins with the flexible and dynamic spaces that it needs to educate and develop the artists and designers of the future, but also makes a firm statement of the role of the Arts in the quarter, to which it will give critical mass and energy.

Campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams

Project Details:

The £200m campus brings together 4,000 Central Saint Martins students and 1,000 staff under one roof. It is made up of:
• 10 acres of floor space
• Over 1.3 million timber blocks
• Enough concrete to fill eight Olympic swimming pools
The three-storey building is based around an internal street, naturally lit through a translucent roof.
It contains four levels of multi-purpose workshops and specialist studios, including:
• Performance design and practice labs
• Casting, wood fabrication and metal fabrication workshops
• Post-production workshops
• Film, effects and sound studios
• Architecture and spatial studios
• Fashion and textiles studios
• Photography studios and darkrooms
• Product and industrial design studios
• Graphic and communication design studios • Jewellery workshops
• Art studios

Campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams

The campus is also home to a 350 seat public theatre with its own entrance.

Campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams

Above: Photography is by John Sturrock

It occupies the Grade II listed Granary Building, built in 1851, which managed the storage and distribution of grain at the height of the Victorian industrial boom.

Campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams

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It faces onto Granary Square which, when completed in June 2012, will be one of London’s largest public squares.

Campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams

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The campus has been designed by architects Stanton Williams and forms part of King’s Cross, a 67 acre development in central London – a new piece of the city with a brand new postcode, London N1C. King’s Cross is being developed by the King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership, which brings together Argent Group, London & Continental Railways and DHL Supply Chain.

Campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams

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Key Values:

Project Value: £200M (based on cost of land, building, fit-out and expansion incl. third floor)

Campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams

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Key dates:

Construction Start date: January 2008
Completion Date: April 2011
Date of Occupation: August 2011
Construction phase: January 2008 - August 2011 (Incl. fit-out) Student arrival: 3rd October 2011
Building Details
Postal Address: Granary Building, 1 Granary Square, London, N1C 4AA Gross Internal Area: approx. 40,000m2

Campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams

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Design team:

Site Developer: Argent
Tenant: University of the Arts London
Architect: Stanton Williams
Structure: Scott Wilson
Environmental / M&E engineering: Atelier 10
Architectural lighting: Spiers and Major
Quantity Surveyor / Employer’s Agent: Davis Langdon
Landscape Architect: Townsend Landscape Architects.

Campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams

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Facade consultant: Arup Facades Engineering
CDM coordinator: Scott Wilson.
Contractor team – base build
Main contractor: Bam Construction Limited
Contractor’s Architect: Bam Design (new buildings) / Weedon Partnership (Granary)
Conservation Architect: Richard Griffiths Architects

Campus for Central Saint Martins by Stanton Williams

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Structure: Bam Design (new buildings) AKS Lister Beare (existing structure)
M&E engineering: Bam Design
Fire consultant: Aecom
Acoustic consultant: Sandy Brown Associates
Access consultant: All Clear Design
Contractor team – fit-out
Contractor: Overbury
Interior fit-out Architect: Pringle Brandon

  • elaine

    Space looks amazing. Wish i was still there, such a difference from Southampton Row!

  • JuiceMajor

    Space is amazing but this is scared by the horrible railing design!!

  • http://twitter.com/MarcioDyslexico @MarcioDyslexico

    The main question to me is: Where is the cyber café, and do they still sell ham and cheese toastie for £3?

  • Urban Commentary

    Reminds you of the importance of the section

  • https://www.facebook.com/fredca Fred Castillo

    Central Hall is devoid of any life and color. Vapid.

  • Park

    Its a horrible place to work, too many regulations and rules compared to southampton row can't use any part of the building except your own studios what kind of art institute restricts your creativity? I miss Southampton row D: the atmosphere is completely different now absolutely hate it.

  • shoeswith

    compared to southhamton row this feels empty and soulless. It looks OK but saying goodbye to holborn has lost them the central part of St martins

  • anon

    the cyber cafe shut two years ago, it was either keep it open or give the graphic design course more computers

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1454989147 Thomas Patelis

    Amazing building for a great design school 

  • Josh

    The Cyber Café! many a good day spent in there eating cheese toasties. If the new building fails to have something as futuristic as a 'cyber cafe' then they have not future-proofed the design

  • https://www.facebook.com/ess56 Esther Kim

    Yay!!! My school!!!

  • Hayley

    Soulless and not a creative place to work. Very bland, also not up and running as you hope it would be for starting your final year… I miss southampton Row immensely.

  • Transta

    Looks like a modern prison

  • archichat

    amazing building, stirling prize anyone?

  • Educator

    Exicting campus rather than New HKDI campus

  • Laura

    Looking it for an outsider point of view I think the building looks great, very modern yet with the bits of the granary that add some history to it.
    Looking it from a student point a view though, who is living the experience of the new Central Saint Martins and lived the old one as well… I must say it's killing my creativity. Every time I go to uni now I feel lost, most of the facilities are still not available and even though they kept saying that having everyone together would have created a sense of community, of creative community, well, I don't feel it at all. The concrete walls are killing my mood for creativity. Having to share the computer room with strangers annoys me and the new conference room (the one that replaces the old G12 for the ones who were atsouthampton row) feels claustrophobic, with no windows.

  • RubyQ

    I want my holborn CSM back :(((

  • xyz

    I am now spending more time at uni as there is more space to work, especially in the library. In general, the whole environment feels very special and makes me want to really use it for my work! I guess and really hope that the 'rules' are still evolving in view of what space we are allowed to use. But in general, the building just needs a bit more time to become animated by its user.

  • http://uchoosecollective.tumblr.com/ momitoc

    A typical first wow-effect building, and then when you start 'living' in there you realise it's not quite possible. Initiatives from students to make the space come alive, to add something that is clearly missing in there to our new home are shot dead immediately. With the argument that it hinders the architectural integrity of the building. so now we are at the service of some visions that prevent life and creativity. Really not a good choice in my opinion. Some proof can be found here: http://uchoosecollective.tumblr.com/
    (refer specifically to Banner removal service)
    Students and staff are trying hard to make the building more and more pleasant to live in, which definately has not been made very easy. Quite paradoxically our head of college, Jane Rapley, promised us in the end of last year that she hoped that the architect will not recognise the building in a year's time. Well so far the administration has rather been a hindrance. But maybe – who knows – we are just not well informed enough to be able to judge their difficulties appropriately. (!)

  • momitoc

    yes i agree that probably missing trust might be at the source, but as far as I can judge most ideas that students have are quite reasonable and also respectful of the life of others

  • ch x

    Well it looks great but I’m sure I prefer my old Charing X campus. That soulful, blandless and creative tiny space. Is there anyone from fashion or fine art? You guys all miss only Southampton..