Case Studies

UCL East


Project Director
Anna Rose

LDA BuroHappold Engineering Arcadis

UCL and London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC)

Visualisation of the public realm design

The opportunity

University College London (UCL) in and the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) worked in partnership to deliver UCL East, a new campus on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Space Syntax was asked to assist in the development of the masterplan by providing evidencebased design advice to the design team led by LDA. In order for UCL East to become a world leading educational and cultural development, it needs to provide the optimum spatial conditions: location, linkage, layout, land use and landscape that will foster innovation and creativity for UCL staff and students and members of the surrounding communities.

Our contribution

Space Syntax provided an evidence based platform for the creation of a spatial strategy. Our input had four workstreams:

Urban Form Analysis

As part of our Urban Baseline Analysis, Space Syntax studied the site’s Urban Form, which set out an analysis of existing conditions. This includes the existing hierarchy of streets and spaces at different urban scales of movement based on their spatial accessibility, the analysis of existing urban block permeability.

Urban Function

We produced a detailed analysis of the existing pedestrian and cyclist movement patterns, based on camera based surveys. This analysis helps to establish how the area is currently used at different times of the day and week.

Future Baseline Scenario

Two spatial future year scenarios were established: Scenario 2021 and 2031 to show the impact of future developments in the area. This was used to form the base for the design development and option testing.

Design Impact Evaluation

The spatial accessibility models were updated to include the developing proposed designs. A number of design experiments and design optimisations were tested and optimised. The model was used to help identify potential interventions outside the site boundary that would improve connectivity and public realm quality for the wider area and enable improved access to the site.

The outcome

Space Syntax’s work has underpinned the creation of the UCL East masterplan. Working in close collaboration with the multidisciplinary team, our assessments and recommendations were instrumental in developing the masterplan design and in facilitating stakeholder engagement and negotiations during workshops. The UCL East masterplan creates an integrated and well-connected network of routes and public spaces of different characters that facilitate pedestrian movement and social interaction. These spaces of exchange are essential for academic, social and economic interactions that are vital for the success of an academic campus.

Spatial accessibility analysis of pedestrian connection
Illustrative masterplan in its context