Library Services


Student Centre honoured with prestigious architecture Award

11 October 2021

The UCL Student Centre and the Zayed Centre for Research have both been named as winners at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) London Awards 2021.

UCL Student Centre

The Student Centre opened on 18 February 2019 and quickly became the heart of our Bloomsbury campus.

Managed by Library Services, the £67.4 million multi-purpose building provides 1,000 new study spaces, over eight levels, for UCL’s student community. It was designed to encourage new ways of collaborative and research-based learning.

The building was designed by Nicholas Hare Architects and built by Mace, and is centred around a spectacular atrium. It also features artwork by Turner Prize-winning artist Rachel Whiteread, a landscaped courtyard, a café and rooftop terrace with views across London.

The Student Centre is a flagship for sustainability having achieved Outstanding in the Building Research Establishment's Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM). This is the highest measure of a building’s environmental, social and economic impact. The building has approximately 400m2 of electric solar panels on the roof and uses a ground source heat pump system linked to deep boreholes to cool the building in summer and heat it during the winter.

The Zayed Centre for Research, jointly run by UCL and Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), also won. The two cutting-edge buildings were amongst 46 winners from the capital and will now be put forward for consideration for the prestigious Stirling Prize – the award for the “Best Building in the UK” - which will be announced in October.

Both the Student Centre and the Zayed Centre for Research officially opened in 2019. However, the RIBA Awards were cancelled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

UCL President & Provost, Dr Michael Spence, said: 

“It is a fabulous achievement that two of UCL’s newest buildings in the heart of London have been named as winners of the RIBA London Awards 2021. At UCL we are committed to enhancing the environment of all our students and staff and developing dynamic and exciting workspaces, will help achieve our mission to tackle the world’s biggest challenges.”