UCL East



On Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, in east London, two buildings - Marshgate and Pool Street West - will provide solid foundations to the UCL East campus. With planning approval received, and construction started on both buildings, they are expected to be completed in time for the start of the 2022 and 2023 academic years.


The building currently known as Marshgate will feature predominantly academic uses, but will also include retail, community and engagement uses.

At the heart of the building is a central atrium that is openly accessible to encourage inclusivity and community engagement with the use of 'Fluid Zones' at ground and first floor level to draw people into the building. Floor space above these levels has been designed to encourage collaboration and engagement between academic uses through largely open plan and circulatory spaces.

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Pool Street West

The building currently known as Pool Street West will feature a range of uses, including student accommodation, academic, retail, community and engagement uses.

The design of Pool Street West encourages innovative academic programming, as well as a range of events and activities. Performances, exhibitions, workshops and lectures will contribute to a lively and creative learning atmosphere. The lower levels of the building will also feature a range of retail and food and drink units to cater to both the public and UCL students and staff.

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Key features of the campus

The key elements of the UCL East campus are:

  • Movement in, around and through the buildings. A "Fluid Zone" has been introduced across the lower levels of the buildings to invite people into the campus and encourage movement and flow. Active frontages along key routes will connect UCL East to its surroundings
  • The safety of all those who use the buildings. The building design seeks to ensure a safe and secure environment through lighting, visual connectivity, overlooking from active areas, and strong sightlines across the public realm
  • Clear links between UCL East and the Olympic Park. The campus will be inextricably linked with, and complementary to, its surroundings. The planned 'promenade', for example, will form an arrival space for UCL East and connect visitors and users of the buildings with the wider Park
  • Vibrant public spaces. The planned 'Plaza', for example, will be a vibrant public space and the heart of UCL East, defined by the buildings around it and linked to the Promenade and planned terraces
  • Student accomodation. Both of the Pool Street sites and Marshgate will include student accommodation above the lower levels

The masterplan

The UCL East "masterplan" has informed the Outline Planning Application (submitted May 2017), which set a framework for the overall distribution of building heights and blocks, the amount of floorspace, building uses, and links to spaces. 

Programme phases

The UCL East programme will be delivered in phases as part of the overarching masterplan. At each phase of development there will be a coherent and functional campus, enjoyable and accessible to UCL students, staff, the local community and visitors. It is anticipated that during the phasing of the UCL East development, a number of interim and meanwhile uses will be considered.

UCL East Phase 1

Construction of UCL East Phase 1 started in 2019, with the first building expected to be completed in time for the start of the 2022 academic year. Phase 1 development will comprise up to 50,000 sqm of development, including around 500 bed spaces for student accommodation. Initial modelling suggests that when Phase 1 is fully operational, there will be up to 4,000 students and 260 academic staff on site.

UCL East Phase 1 will be focused around the Waterworks River, and will deliver the two buildings currently known as Pool Street West and Marshgate.

The high profile location of Phase 1 in the Olympic Park and the Cultural and Education District will help establish a strong presence for UCL and a clear identity for UCL East from day one. The existing 2012 Gardens and the Waterworks River provide a beautiful setting, and the location takes advantage of the highest footfall routes in this part of the Olympic Park. The location of Phase 1 has also been carefully decided to ensure that future development and construction will not impede university life nor the use of the buildings.

Phase 1 objectives

As part of Phase 1, the UCL East programme will seek to:

  • Create a distinct and confident campus, providing an appropriate identity for UCL on the Park
  • Provide an outstanding environment for learning and scholarship for students, staff, collaborators and the public
  • Build on and develop the idea of the "Fluid Zone" on lower levels, encouraging the public to access the building through active frontages, a range of activities and events
  • Encourage chance interactions of people working in the building to increase social and academic exchange
  • Encourage approaches from all directions around the site to connect the building to the Park and provide navigation
  • Provide new high quality residences for students
  • Accommodate facilities expected to operate on a 24/7 basis
  • Provide interactive public engagement and exhibition spaces
  • Achieve long term adaptability, while accommodating the requirements of the first generation of users
  • Provide high standard sustainable design throughout the development - in social, economic and environmental aspects.

The remainder of the proposed development will take place in UCL East Phase 2.

UCL at Here East

During the autumn of 2017, UCL took possession of a new space at Here East on the Olympic Park. This space is seeing architects, engineers, computer scientists, mathematicians, anthropologists - and more - working side by side, mixing with nearby entrepreneurs and performers. They are working in partnership with local people, not just through lectures and events, but also through our mobile heritage science laboratory, where members of the public help carry out research. The site is a catalyst for new conversations and new ways of thinking: a place where different communities can educate and inspire one another.

In this new space, students can enroll in new courses, combining both architecture and engineering. They can use cutting-edge technology to carry out research, linking subjects from computer science to transport, from real estate to robotics. And they can learn to design new products, new services, or new business models - not just in their own area but across all kinds of disciplines.

UCL departments and courses at Here East

The space will be shared between the following academic groups:

  • Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering (CEGE)
  • Computer Science and Centre for Medical Image Computing (CMIC)
  • The Bartlett School of Architecture (BSA)
  • The Institute for Sustainable Heritage (ISH)
  • The Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering (IEDE)
  • The Bartlett Institute for Real Estate (BREI)
  • The Global Disability Innovation Hub

Courses to be delivered at Here East include:

  • MEng Engineering and Architectural Design (four-year course)
  • MArch Design for Performance and Interaction (15-month course)
  • MArch Situated Practice (15-month course)
  • MArch Design for Manufacture (15-month course)
  • MSc Robotics and Computation
  • MSc Design, Disability and Innovation

The space at Here East will also be home to the UK Centre for Moisture in Buildings (UKCMB) - an organisation established to break barriers between research, teaching and engagement with industry.

For more information, please visit the UCL at Here East website.

UCL East campus in 9 key numbers

180,000 square metres total site
Equivalent to 7 wembley football pitches infographic
50,000 square metres in phase 1
1500 cycle spaces on the site
560 square metres of green roof on Pool Street West
1000 square metres of solar panels
5500 people engaged with through consultation events
160 seat cinema in phase 1 infographic
500 student rooms in phase 1 infographic