World Architecture Festival 2012: architect Paul Williams of Stanton Williams tells Dezeen editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs why his team designed the new campus for London art and design college Central Saint Martins as "a blank canvas" where different disciplines could "take form and ownership", in this movie we filmed at the World Architecture Festival in September.
The project won the award in the higher education and research category and brings together all the disparate faculties of the school into a single campus constructed in and around a Victorian granary and two former transit sheds at King's Cross.
Williams describes how they used unfinished materials such as raw timber and concrete for the walls and surfaces. "When you're creating an art college, the one thing you're not looking to do is impose a strong architectural identity," he says. "It's the actual disciplines that should create the identity."
An internal street runs through the centre of the buildings, creating an exhibition area between the studios of each department. "We have created much more shared space, so there is less space in ownership of departments," says Williams. "It is space that can be used by all of the disciplines."
The architect also discusses the importance of flexibility, which will allow the campus to "morph" in the future. "A lot of the areas and walls that are built are soft and they can be knocked down and reconfigured," he says. "The principle of the building is it is a stage for transformation."
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