White City’s reputation as a centre of creativity has been boosted by news that the world’s leading art and design university is moving in this autumn.
The Royal College of Art will open its schools of humanities and communications in Wood Lane, by the BBC’s former Television Centre complex.
Together with the research campus being built by Imperial College, it shifts the capital’s creative axis to the heart of west London.
The RCA is also moving part of its school of architecture into the former BBC building at 201 Wood Lane.
Cllr Andrew Jones, H&F Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Regeneration, welcomed the RCA’s arrival.
“This helps cement White City’s reputation as a centre of excellence,” he said. “Having so many key names in the area increases the opportunities for young people in Hammersmith & Fulham who dream of making a career in the creative arts.
“We are determined to be the best place to do business in Europe – and a vibrant arts scene helps us do just that.”
The RCA’s new hub will open in the Garden House building at 201 Wood Lane in September. A three-storey building totalling 40,000sqft, it shares a garden with the neighbouring 230,000sqft MediaWorks building.
More than 700 students and staff will be based in the RCA, which has scope to involve the community in exhibitions, live projects and digital partnerships.
David Camp, chief executive of developer Stanhope, said the RCA would ‘enable an ecosystem to develop connecting business, technology and education, inspiring creative innovation’.
There will be close links to the university’s other centres of design, art and fashion in Kensington and Battersea.
RCA alumni include Hammersmith artist Peter Blake, architect Edwin Lutyens, sculptor Bridget Riley, painters David Hockney and Tracey Emin, fashion gurus Ossie Clark and Zandra Rhodes and musician Ian Dury.
Underlining the area’s reputation for attracting pace-setters, other announced tenants include Oliver Bonas, the design studio and lifestyle retailer which began as a humble pop-up in Fulham with a secondhand till and which now has 59 branches.
Also opening in February is the second branch of Nurture, the healthy gourmet cafe which launched in July last year on the edge of Hammersmith’s Lyric Square.
Yoox Net-a-Porter recently took 70,000 sq ft of office space at White City as its UK tech hub, while more than 3,000 BBC staff still work at White City.
At the end of this year the former TV Centre reopens with new offices, flats, restaurants, a hotel, rooftop pool, bar and spa... plus three refurbished television studios.
When complete, £8billion will have been spent on the 15-year regeneration of White City, generating 20,000 jobs. The new John Lewis opens in 2018.