Described as, ‘A Modern self-catered accommodation providing 160 bedsitting rooms, with angular walls of dramatic zinc tiles and bright render enclosing a quiet courtyard with reflective pool. RIBA Award Winner 2005’ Friendship House is a clever and welcome exercise in fitting single-person rental accommodation into a difficult central site — bang up against the proverbial inner London rail line. It copes by turning inward, around a landscaped central court (designed by Rummy Design), but also by providing a clear architectural diagram relating shared areas to private ones. Like any such building, there are similarities with hotels and halls of residences. The city needs many more buildings like this.
There are two new buildings here: the ‘Teaching Block’ allowed the relocation of existing media facilities in Clerkenwell to this campus, consolidating the entire college onto one site (a standard strategy these days: provide estate overheads + more students + less space + concentrated and rationalised facilities + lots of digitial technology and, of course, a few low-cost architectural branding cheerups, mix well and wrap it all up as ‘new ways of learning’). ‘The Street Building’ — a new entrance portal — ties together all of the existing college buildings while providing a central focus for the campus as a whole. These two main components are then linked to complete the basic infrastructure required by the LCC to meet its long-term academic needs. A later second phase will involve the modification and fit-out of the new and existing spaces.