Architects chosen for new dining hall

Concept design for a new dining hall (left).  Image credit: © Feilden Fowles

All image credits: © Feilden Fowles

Homerton has appointed the emerging architectural firm of Feilden Fowles for its showpiece new dining hall.  This competition attracted huge interest from the UK architectural community, with 155 firms competing to win the contract. 

Feilden Fowles described their winning concept design (pictured) as an Arts and Crafts building for the 21st century, conveying formality at times, and comforting familiarity at others.  Their submission declared an intention to ‘celebrate the integrity and inherent beauty of materials and craftsmanship’. 

The College concluded last year that it would not be possible to improve the kitchen supporting the 19th century Great Hall to meet future requirements.  The decision was then made to build a landmark new Dining Hall on a new site, to the West of the listed 1914 Ibberson Building. 

Like the Great Hall, the new 300-person dining hall will provide the backdrop both for formal, set-piece ceremonial events and for daily gatherings.  The Great Hall will be used for theatre performances, concerts, lectures, and smaller dinners.

The Principal, Professor Geoffrey Ward, said:

This development will encapsulate much of what Homerton is about: a creative, inclusive community that is ambitious to contribute to the wider society. The opportunity to make an environment that is physically beautiful and that functions elegantly is a rare privilege, and if on a deep level it can also encourage mutuality, the sharing of ideas, then it really has the power to inspire current and future generations. We are particularly pleased to be able to start this work in 2018, when the College will have a year-long public celebration of our 250th Anniversary. Feilden Fowles’ concept design for the dining hall relates subtly to the existing ensemble of buildings and the garden setting, and yet has the poise to convince as a showpiece. What appealed so strongly about the team’s particular approach was their openness to creating many opportunities for dialogue. We are looking forward to working with them as they develop the detailed design.

Fergus Feilden, Director of Feilden Fowles, said:

The project offers a unique chance to create a transformational space at the heart of an already stunning site.  This is a privilege we do not take lightly and we are determined to deliver a world class facility.  We can’t wait to get started.

Feilden Fowles is making a reputation for delivering projects in highly sensitive and challenging historic settings. The London-based practice was named Building Design’s ‘Young Architect of the Year’ in 2016. It has won numerous awards including three RIBA Awards, Civic Trust and a RICS Community Benefit Award.

Concept design for a new dining hall. Image credit: © Feilden Fowles

Concept design for a new dining hall. Image credit: © Feilden Fowles

Concept design for a new dining hall. Image credit: © Feilden Fowles