Completion of Object Based Learning Room at UCL

January 2020

Construction works have completed on the retrofit of the old refectory room at UCL’s Grade 1 Listed Wilkins Building.

We were commissioned by University College London to produce design solutions to improve a variety of core areas of the Grade 1 Listed Wilkins Building at their main campus in Bloomsbury. Included in this package of works was a brief to convert an existing room that had been used as a refectory, into a new, innovative Object Based Learning facility. UCL have a fantastic collection of historic objects associated with scientific exploration and cultural endeavour – and this new room provides both exhibition space for the objects, with a study area to examine, review and learn from them.

Working with structural engineers Peter Brett Associates, services consultants Elementa, and the contractor Arcadis, we have introduced an innovative timber ceiling raft to the space that spans the room supported on two storage pods at either end. This principle protects the historic fabric of the room and provides a concealed network for the technical specification. It was important that all materials for the ceiling raft should be as lightweight as possible. Quicklock Live aluminium trellis was specified for the spanning truss, with a fabric covered acoustic material between the structure and the panels. The triangular timber frame was in tulipwood, with Woodsorba veneered acoustic panels for the infills. The project construction costs were £900,000, which included upgrades to adjacent support and administrative areas. Works were completed in January2020.