VolkerFitzpatrick wins £17m University Square Stratford contract

The £17m design and build contract for a new university hub that will meet the growing educational aspirations of local people in the heart of east London has been awarded to VolkerFitzpatrick and will be project managed by Gardiner and Theobald LLP.


The flagship project named University Square Stratford has been designed by Make Architects; a practice founded by renowned architect Ken Shuttleworth, and will be located in the heart of Stratford. The project is a unique joint venture between Birkbeck, University of London and the University of East London (UEL).

University Square Stratford is designed to be a multi-use academic building comprising 8,600m2 of floor space, orientated around a large light filled atrium of lecture, teaching and learning spaces, as well as dance studios and multipurpose spaces.

The structure is a five storey reinforced concrete frame which will incorporate a mixture of specification finishes that include: finished timber surfaces, glazing, granite and glass facades, rain screen cladding and exposed concrete ceilings, acting as part of the heating and cooling strategy.

The building which has been designed to achieve an ‘Excellent' BREEAM rating incorporates sustainable features, such as: glazed curtain walling and photo voltaic panels on the facades, displacement ventilation that will provide single source heating and ventilation using the raised floors as plenums, and 700m2 of green roof areas, encouraging bio-diversity and reducing rainwater loss, which will provide water for WC flushing.

Richard Offord, managing director of VolkerFitzpatrick said: "We are delighted to have been chosen to work on this prestigious project and be part of the vision for these two complementary centres of learning, to create more accessible facilities for higher education in areas of low participation.

"This project strengthens our already extensive experience in sustainable building and the higher education sector. After carrying out a large number of high profile projects in the Stratford area we are well versed to the particular challenges of working on this type of project and in this part of London."

Richard Morsley, Project and Partnership Manager for University Square Stratford, said: "We are delighted to welcome VolkerFitzpatrick as the building contractor for this exciting and ground-breaking project. The company has an admirable reputation working in the education sector and we feel that they are the right people for the job."

VolkerFitzpatrick has an excellent track record of delivering projects in east London and will continue to work with the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation (LGTDC) which has provided not only substantial financial support but significant guidance on the project to the two universities.

The works are due to start in September, and the building is anticipated to be ready to welcome its first intake of students in September 2013.