UCL News


Marshgate handover marks key milestone for UCL East campus on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

20 March 2023

The first phase of UCL’s new campus at East Bank on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is a step closer to completion following the handover of our flagship Marshgate building from construction partners Mace.

UCL and Mace construction staff in the foreground with a giant black key with UCL written on it and the interior of the UCL Marshgate building in the background.

To celebrate this major milestone, ahead of the full opening and official launch of the campus in September, Professor Paola Lettieri, Pro-Provost UCL East, was given a symbolic giant key by construction partners Mace at an informal event on Friday 17 March 2023 to mark the end of four years of building work and nine years of planning the UCL East campus.

Marshgate is a vast construction standing next to the London Stadium and ArcelorMittal Orbit tower, just across the river from the campus’s new One Pool Street building, which opened for study last autumn for 500 postgraduate students along with accommodation for an additional 552 students.

UCL's Marshgatebig square building from a distance next to the ArcelorMittal Orbit tower with the River Lee running in front of both

Out of Marshgate’s light, bright and airy atrium rise eight floors of teaching, research and collaboration spaces including hi-tech laboratories and research centres, specialising in fields like engineering, manufacturing, materials, green technologies, finance, the built environment, creative industries, heritage, and global health.

Escalators connect the atrium to the upper floors and facilities include a large library, lecture theatres, study spaces, refectory, common room, executive education suite and multiple flexible spaces designed for collaboration and engagement with local communities and businesses.

Interior of UCL East Marshgate building looking down from upper floors to lower floors, escalator and atrium

The UCL East campus brings together academics and expertise from nine UCL faculties to collaborate on finding solutions to the biggest challenges facing people and the planet. The campus community will number around 4,000 students and 700 staff in total by 2025.

As with One Pool Street, Marshgate will offer experiences, exhibitions, activities, cafés, spaces and works of art by local artists for students, staff and the public to enjoy.

UCL began exploring possible sites in east London even before the London 2012 Olympics and is a founding member of East Bank, a legacy of the Games supported by the Mayor of London. East Bank is the UK's newest cultural quarter at the heart of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, a destination for innovation, creativity and learning.

UAL’s London College of Fashion is moving to East Bank in the autumn, followed by a new Sadler’s Wells East theatre and hip hop academy in 2024, and new bases for BBC Music, V&A East and a V&A Storehouse due to open on the Park to complete East Bank in 2025.

Prof Paola Lettieri FREng, Pro-Provost UCL East, who has driven the academic vision and creation of UCL's new campus from research and planning to construction, said:

“Today is about the many teams who have worked together to complete this fantastic building. Marshgate, along with One Pool Street, will give us the world-beating facilities and spaces we need for our staff and students to drive innovation with the potential to transform our cities and create a more inclusive and equitable society, locally and globally.

“I cannot begin to thank everyone individually, but I am grateful to UCL for trusting me and our talented teams and partners to deliver this building for our whole university, and for the many generations of students, partners and communities who will share it with us.

“We look forward to welcoming our first students and staff to Marshgate this autumn, many of whom will be starting study and research programmes that are the first of their kind in the world. Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to reach this milestone as we continue on this exciting journey for UCL.”

Keith Butler, Director of Major Projects for UCL Estates, said:

“This is a proud moment for UCL and we are grateful for the professionalism, tenacity and creativity of Mace and all our design, construction and project team partners for helping to ensure that Marshgate has been completed on budget and on time, despite the astonishing array of challenges facing the building industry in recent years. This has required the brave and bold thinking that UCL is renowned for the world over.

“Our UCL East campus exemplifies the best in collaborative working between UCL colleagues from Estates, academia and professional services, as well as invaluable support and input from our student community. Together, through our building programme, we are working to futureproof our university for everyone.

“UCL is a place where research transforms lives and I would like to thank all those who have contributed to this transformative development. Marshgate is a magnificent building inside and out and, along with One Pool Street, will nurture the ways of working and studying that will lead to collaboration and discovery on a life-changing scale. Every member of the project team should be proud of what we have achieved.”

Terry Spraggett, MD Public Sector Construction, Mace, said:

“We are proud to have supported UCL by delivering this landmark building, which will form an integral part of the university’s ambition to create cutting edge academic and research spaces for its students, staff and the wider public.

“Marshgate is an exceptional building. Not only do the teaching and learning spaces break down conventional barriers, but the design quality is exceptional and a true testament to the strength of the collaborative team effort of the client, supply chain and consultants.

“It’s been a great journey and I very much look forward to when Marshgate will welcome its first students in September.’’

Marshgate, designed by Stanton Williams architects, is the single biggest structure on any of UCL’s campuses, measuring six times the size of the UCL Student Centre, which opened in 2019 on its Bloomsbury campus and offers 1,000 study spaces as well as exhibition areas.

Over the next six months, UCL East teams will complete the fitting out of the Marshgate building, including the installation of ultra hi-tech specialist equipment, in readiness for the start of the 2023/24 academic year when it will also be open to the public.

Find out more about our UCL East campus and its research centres and the degree programmes on offer on the UCL East campus website.

For employment opportunities on our UCL East campus, please go to the UCL Jobs portal.

Find out how we and our partners are creating London's living testbed for better urban futures through the SHIFT innovation district on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.



  • (Left to right) Nawed Khan, Senior Project Manager UCL East, Keith Butler, Director of Major Projects UCL Estates, Prof Paola Lettieri, Pro-Provost UCL East, Kevin Kilcoyne, Project Director Mace Construction Group Ltd, Paul Thomas, Construction Director Mace Construction Group Ltd, credit: UCL / Morley von Sternberg
  • UCL East campus Marshgate building exterior, credit: UCL / Morley von Sternberg
  • UCL East campus Marshgate building interor, credit: UCL / Morley von Sternberg