Dutch architect triumphs over strong shortlist


UN Studio’s winning design for UCA Epsom

UN Studio has won the RIBA competition to find an architect to design a scheme for the University for the Creative Arts (UCA).

The Dutch practice was the only non-British practice on the shortlist.

It was chosen over four multi-disciplinary teams led by Hall McKnight, Haworth Tompkins, Tate Harmer and Wilkinson Eyre.

The university, which operates in Surrey and Kent, was looking for an architect to design a business school for the creative industries at its Epsom campus. The project will involve reconfiguration and linking of the existing estate to a new-build element.

Jurors said UNStudio’s “architecturally distinguished scheme would generate a suite of spaces whose fluidity and transparency aligned well with how a creative business school might function, with a technically refined atrium space providing connections to existing buildings while maintaining the intimacy of the existing campus fabric”.

>> Also read: Tate Harmer and Hall McKnight on starry shortlist for uni building


The jury, which consisted of the university’s vice-chancellor Bashir Makhoul and academics, was given architectural advice by Nigel Craddock of Pascall & Watson.

Makhoul said: “UNStudio engaged with our brief to create a learning and business environment for the future. Facilitating the exchange of ideas is very much at the heart of the design, which reflects the creative, forward-thinking nature of our business school.”