Hayhurst & Co

Hayhurst & Co

London, GB


Clore Learning Centre at the RIBA

The Clore Learning Centre at the RIBA is a destination for the public to engage with architecture as part of a creative learning programme. It includes a dedicated studio, study room, terrace and interactive display area on the fourth floor of the RIBA’s Grade II* listed headquarters at the 66 Portland Place in central London. The new spaces are an inspirational setting for hands-on, creative for a range of audiences, from children and families to long-life learners.

Hayhurst & Co’s design invites visitors to explore their ‘sense of space’ and develop an understanding of the architecture that surrounds us every day. Conceived as a series of simple, delightful and adaptable interventions that enable an inter-active learning experience, the spaces promote an understanding of architecture through active learning: observing, testing, making and sharing.

The design for the new spaces is playful, thought-provoking and unique. Through the detailed reference of Grey Wornum’s vision for the original RIBA building, the Clore Learning Centre will encourage debate about the perception of architecture and its influence on light, acoustics, materials, sustainability and the public realm.

Sustainability is central to the design and materiality of the Clore Learning Centre at the RIBA. Alongside bamboo (a fast growing and sustainable alternative to timber), drawer fronts, display cabinets and box stools are made from recycled yoghurt pots, giving a new life to an otherwise single-use plastic waste product. Some lids and labels are still visible in the material. 

The Clore Learning Centre at the RIBA incorpoates a series of measures that at once address sustainability and learning. Energy efficient LED light fittings are used throughout, and can be tuned to mimic different conditions: such as bright natural daylighting during the day to aid alertness, concentration and creativity, or warmer and dimmer lighting that can be more conducive to group creative thinking. A mechanical ventilation system ensures a constant supply of fresh air, and avoids a build up of CO2 from occupants’ breath that can reduce concentration, decision-making abilities and memory. 

Hayhurst and Co. were selected as the architect for the project in September 2017 following a two-stage design competition led by the RIBA Competitions Office. The design was been developed with the input from Price and Myers, Max Fordham and Jack Wates lighting design. 

The Clore Learning Centre at the RIBA is run and managed by the RIBA Learning Team, and is made possible by a generous grant from the Clore Duffield Foundation. 

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Status: Built
Location: London, GB
Additional Credits: Main contractor Coniston
Structural Engineer Price and Myers
CDM Co-ordinator Goddard Consulting
Approved Inspector London Building Control
M&E consultant Max Fordham
Quantity surveyor Moulton Taggart
Lighting consultant Jack Wates and Satu Streatfield
Other consultants Richard Griffiths, Heritage Consultant