24 August, 2023
Making the Grade
London South Bank University

A heritage building that’s redesigned for the future of education.

Having been awarded the work on Electric House, a derelict, Art Deco building in Croydon that London South Bank University wanted to turn into a leading health care and business education centre, Maris set to work.

Bringing a building back to life

The challenge was to respect the heritage of the building, whilst ensuring it met modern standards and exceeded expectations. The building itself was about 80 years old and implementing modern standards and sustainable solutions was not straightforward.

We began with a lot of exploratory and remedial work, in collaboration with Heritage England, to make sure we retained original features and did not detract from the beauty of the property. The objective was to bring it back to life whilst being sympathetic to the past.

Thinking outside the box

The main point of historic significance was the entrance, complete with original marble and impressive stone pillars. It required us to integrate accessibility using bespoke design solutions without compromising the signature design of the space. We also needed to maintain the original marble whilst integrating a modern reception area.

The original windows couldn’t be replaced we had to look at alternative methods for addressing EPC ratings through things like insulation in roof details to ensure sustainability. Other elements included the implementation of a mechanical ventilation system and preservation of a beautiful sweeping staircase.

We were careful to integrate the Art Deco heritage with the modern design, a key example of which was in the original boardroom. A beautiful, oval space with double height ceilings, it would become a lecture space with bleacher seating. 

The project is going through a phased handover but was ready in time for the first new intake of students in September 2022.

Want to create a world-leading education space?

Speak to the team at Maris