4 September, 2023
Heritage meets modern values
London South Bank University

Working with a listed building to create a contemporary education facility.

One of our most recent education design and build projects was London South Bank University (LSBU) at their Croydon location.

The brief was to turn a derelict Art Deco building into a state-of-the-art education facility for attracting and teaching the next generation of nurses, doctors, chiropractors and business leaders.

The challenge was to create a forward-thinking education experience befitting the modern age, whilst honouring the heritage of the property and its role within the surrounding community.

To achieve that, we had to work collaboratively, not only with the university, but with Croydon Council and other ministers, as well as respecting the perspective of local residents. 

Read about how we worked with councillors to create an exceptional solution

Bringing history back to life

Electric House was built between 1939 and 1942, receiving its Grade II listing in 1995. It was originally built to house the borough’s electrical department before a time spent as home to the HMRC Passport office which relocated in 2013. 

After seven years of being empty and unmaintained it was purchased by Starview Estates. However, by that time the building had fallen into disrepair, needing significant works to bring it back to life, including a new roof, a complete interior strip-out and new fit-out.

Complex considerations 

Working with the listed building meant that there were additional considerations and permissions needed, particularly as we wanted to celebrate the original beauty of the building. However, we also wanted and needed to make it safe, functional and relevant for modern use today and moving forward. For example: 

Complex considerations 

Cost certainty was a priority, but due to the building’s state of disrepair definitive surveys were a challenge. We undertook the most detailed inspections and surveys possible and provided a guaranteed maximum price.

Seeking specialist support

We worked collaboratively with English Heritage to ensure the preservation of protected areas, including original Art Deco elements, whilst also enhancing the sustainability of the building and ensuring compliance with building regulations. 

Providing cost certainty

Cost certainty was a priority, but due to the building’s state of disrepair definitive surveys were a challenge. We undertook the most detailed inspections and surveys possible and provided a guaranteed maximum price.

Creative solutions

We reimagined spaces to maximise their functionality. For example, we transformed the original boardroom with its double height ceilings into a flexible lecture theatre with bleacher seating. 

Integrating technology

A modern university needs state-of-the-art technology, so throughout the building we developed the design and technical solution to sympathetically integrate the art deco heritage with modern technology.

Want to create a world-leading education space?

Speak to the team at Maris