Transforming UCL


Pool Street West construction officially begins as Provost breaks ground

2 March 2020

A groundbreaking ceremony was held last week to mark the start of construction at Pool Street West within the UCL East development.

Michael Arthur, Paola Lettieri, Kevin Argent, Francesca Fryer of UCL and Chris Hamer, MD of Vinci UK at Pool Street West

Professor Michael Arthur, UCL President & Provost, Professor Paola Lettieri, Academic Director for UCL East, Francesca Fryer, Director of Estates, and Kevin Argent, Deputy Director of Estates & Director of Estates Development, broke ground on Friday 28 February, on the multi-use research and residential centre at Pool Street West, UCL East.

They welcomed a collection of guests from Vinci, UCL and partners to a ceremonial ground-breaking at Pool Street West, the second site to begin work at the new UCL East campus. 

Hailing the significance of the Pool Street West project within both UCL East and the wider East Bank cultural development, Professor Paola Lettieri said "UCL East will be an inspirational and accessible learning environment in which collaboration, transformative research, students, and engagement with the public, government and industry will produce a better world.

"It is exciting to see construction beginning of our Pool Street building, where researchers and students will be working across disciplines in areas ranging from robotics, mobility and disability to ecological sustainability, urbanisation, culture, art and history."

Bringing together transformational activities from at least five faculties UCL East will prioritise innovation for the future, collaborate on local and global challenges, and develop solutions that will build a fairer, more sustainable world.

Opening in 2022 Pool Street West will be home to a number of academic centres and spaces, including:

  • Robotics and Autonomous Systems
  • Nature-Smart Centre
  • Global Disability Innovation Hub
  • Urban Room & Memory Workshop
  • Slade Studio
  • Connected Environments Lab

The building will be publicly accessible; the first three floors of learning and research space will include a cinema, doubling as a lecture and event space, as well as cafés and state-of-the-art public space facilities. Two towers on either side of the main podium, will rise above a landscaped roof terrace, providing sociable living space to over 500 students.

Works are also underway on the nearby Stratford Waterfront site at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which together with UCL East and Here East, forms East Bank – the largest culture and education project for a generation. This will feature other world-famous London cultural institutions such as Sadler's Wells, BBC Music, University of the Arts London's College of Fashion, and the V&A in partnership with Washington DC’s Smithsonian Institution.