The new library and School of Architecture & Construction is located along an approach from Greenwich Town to Greenwich Park within the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site. The site is within an urban fabric of terraced building which suggested a fine grained approach.
The urban grain is drawn across the site, its dimensions related to natural light penetration, air movement & scale. The grain of narrow and wide bands structure the site, narrow bands containing courtyards, service & cores, wide bands provide the teaching and learning spaces. The grain is further drawn through to the street to create a permeable streetscape.
The building is compactly organised being highest on Stockwell Street and stepping down to meet the residences adjacent to its rear. Occupying the stepped roofs are fourteen interlinked teaching gardens which cover an area of about twelve tennis courts, probably Europe’s largest teaching and learning green roof.
By providing specialist research environments, such as dedicated facilities for the study of algae and aquaponics, and sophisticated, bio-diverse learning spaces the roofs become an integral part of the academic space.
The library is located to the north establishing a connection to the main university campus in the Old Royal Naval College. Cafe and exhibition spaces line Stockwell Street whilst at the corner opposite Hawksmoor's St. Alfege Church, a slight setback creates a threshold, an entrance to the building and a pause in the street from which to turn with the church as its focus.
The studio space is designed as the heart of the Academic Building occupying the entire first floor, above seminar rooms form part of the studio environment, creating an educational space of production and discussion. The library is organised to create a space that visually & spatially interconnects the diverse activities within.
The building has the dual role of having to both embed itself as a piece of urban fabric to the south while making itself recognizable as a civic entity to the north. Its expression shifts in response to its context, appearing from Nevada St as a series of tightly packed volumes which blend into the streetscape; as one rounds the corner this fabric begins begin to pull apart, revealing the activity within and establishing the university's presence within the town as a space of academic excellence and urban connectivity
Wren's, Hawksmoor's and Vanbrugh's Royal Naval College, Jones' Queen's House, Le Notre's Greenwich Park, Greenwich's architectural and landscape setpiece creates one of the powerful and singular ensembles in European architecture. Greenwich Town provided an approach and support to this set piece. It is within the town that the School of Architecture & Construction and the Campus Library for the University of Greenwich is located.
heneghan peng architects
Area in m2: 15,200
Other key figures eg number of pupils, highest point, number of cladding panels
Data Points: 2,100
Lecture Seats: 500
Form of contract
JCT without Quantities
Traditional Procurement Route – two stage tender