Transforming UCL


22 Gordon Street

22 Gordon Street, formerly known as Wates House, is the first major Transforming UCL projects on the UCL Bloomsbury campus to be completed.


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Project Overview

This redevelopment has created a new home for The Bartlett Faculty and will house The Bartlett School of Architecture (BSA).

When Wates House opened 40 years ago it was designed to house 380 students and 90 staff. The Bartlett Faculty now comprises more than 2,300 students in 13 sections, which operate across eight buildings.

The original building was in poor condition and did not meet environmental standards. The new building will help to facilitate The Bartlett's continued aim of being a global leader within its field by providing a high quality, low-energy environment for teaching, learning and research.

22 Gordon Street provides approximately 3,000m2 more floor area than the old Wates House. The building provides double the amount of teaching and research space, while retaining the reinforced concrete structure of the original building.

The building will act as a central London headquarters for The Bartlett - a dense, social and networked building at the heart of UCL's Bloomsbury campus, which will open its doors to academic colleagues, to the profession and to the wider public, providing a space for the discussion of architecture close to the point of production.

By operating in tandem with UCL Here East (once completed), 22 Gordon Street will enable The Bartlett to deliver innovative new programmes for architectural education.

While 22 Gordon Street appears to be a new building, it is in fact built around the retained structure of Wates House, providing a link to the past of the building and the history of architecture at UCL. The retained structure significantly reduces carbon emissions associated with the construction project.

The building provides robust, generous spaces that have been designed to provide students with the flexibility to work and learn. The upgrade has doubled the amount of teaching and research space, meaning that every student will have access to a desk. There is more studio and breakout space to encourage collaboration amongst students and staff.

Four key elements define the building:

  • A big shop window: a double height ground floor exhibition space with full height glazing that opens up the building and provides people with an insight into what is happening inside.
  • A place for discussion: The design has knocked through the adjoining wall between 22 Gordon Street and the neighbouring UCL Department of Chemistry Lecture Theatre, creating a new space for architectural debate at the heart of The Bartlett.
  • Framed views over the city: 22 Gordon Street benefits from inspirational views from key positions within the building. The first year studio has been placed at the top of the building to give everybody a "penthouse" view in their first year. Students will begin their courses at the top of the building and move down through the building as they progress towards graduation.
  • The stair: A new open stairwell will act as a social generator, encouraging movement between floors, with break-out areas at each level. Doors have been excluded from studios, which are open to one another to encourage all staff/student interaction and debate.

A dedicated 'friends' room' for a new network known as Friends of the Bartlett School of Architecture (FBSA) is located on the top floor with spectacular views over London. This multipurpose room will be made available to staff, students and members of FBSA for meetings or get-togethers.


22 Gordon Street has excellent environmental credentials in line with UCL's clear ambition to deliver a sustainable estate in support of its academic mission. Efforts to reduce the building's impact and optimise the health and wellbeing of occupants have been championed by UCL Estates and addressed in detail by the project team.

22 Gordon Street will be an intensively used building, with the aim of having minimum energy consumption. Some of the key features are as follows:

  • The project is achieved an overall environmental rating of 'BREEAM Excellent' which represents best practice in sustainable design and construction and takes the building performance well beyond regulatory minimum standards.
  • Improved energy performance has been achieved through enhanced building fabric and low energy systems.
  • Carbon emissions will be at least 30% lower than requirements of Building Regulations (Part L 2010)
  • Use of solar panels will provide additional clean energy.
  • The building maximises daylight wherever possible to provide a comfortable, healthy and productive teaching areas.
  • Almost 100 internal cycle parking spaces are being provided.
  • The building will consume less water through the use of efficient water fittings.
  • Enhanced biodiversity through the provision of a green roof.

For more information about The Bartlett visit www.bartlett.ucl.ac.uk.

Inclusion and Access

Transforming UCL has a commitment to making our spaces as inclusive and accessible as possible, to ensure a high quality experience for all our building users. We have included these features to help us meet that commitment.

  • The building is fully accessible, with level access into the building, accessible security gates, standard-compliant lifts and WCs.
  • Teaching spaces were designed to be very open and flexible.
  • The building is fully DDA/Disability Standard compliant.

Campus Location

22 Gordon Street Campus Map