Goldsmiths to restore New Cross landmark

 Goldsmiths announces:

The iconic Richard Hoggart Building on Lewisham Way is the focus of a major restoration project by Goldsmiths, University of London.

The building, which dates back more than 160 years and is named after a former head of the College, is the main building on Goldsmiths’ 16 acre campus in New Cross and the first port of call for visitors, staff and students.

How the RHB will look after its makeover
An historic view of the building
A six month programme of work will restore the period features of the façade and landscape the forecourt into a social area with outdoor seating, improved access and a space that can be used for outdoor performances and events. The entrance lobby and reception of the building will also be widened.

A key objective of the work is to transform the forecourt and entrance into an open and inviting space for the whole of the Goldsmiths community to enjoy.

Warden of Goldsmiths, Patrick Loughrey commented:
“Over the next few months, you will see a great deal of activity as we work on improving the campus for students and, just as importantly, the local community. This will be Goldsmiths’ biggest renewal in 50 years and will, we hope, play a part in re-shaping the architectural landscape of New Cross.”

He added: “We are proud to be in New Cross and keen to reach out to the community in inspiring and exciting ways. I warmly invite local residents to one of our many events on campus. Each week brings and engaging array of free lectures, performances, exhibitions and more. Our next open day takes place on 15 June – a chance for you to explore our campus, meet our academics and staff and find out more about our courses.”

Former Goldsmiths student Mary Quant is heading up an appeal to the Goldsmiths community of friends and former students to raise funds for the project.

In a letter to former students, she wrote: “For many of us, Goldsmiths was a coming of age. We learnt of beauty, encountered people from worlds outside our own. We were challenged intellectually and creatively, we experienced the indulgence and pleasure of youth, we grew up, we fell in love. I am still in love with Goldsmiths, and that is why, today, I commend to you this very special appeal to renew the heart of Goldsmiths, by restoring the entrance and forecourt garden of our beautiful and historic building.”

Goldsmiths has also started work to convert 286 New Cross Road into a professional recording studio, enabling students to graduate with a portfolio of recordings and it is hoped the studio will also be available for community hire. Former students at Goldsmiths include Blur, Dire Straits and the Velvet Underground and artists such as Mercury Prize nominees Katy B, and James Blake.

The external frontage will be refurbished, but changes to appearance will be minimal, to maintain the character of the street and be in keeping with the conservation area. A single storey extension will be added to the south of the building to create more space. To see more of the exciting plans, go to:

Full disclosure: I will become a member of the Council for Goldsmiths in September 2013. Back in July 2012 I was asked to promote the application process for the Council and decided to apply myself. I was lucky enough to be selected. For obvious reasons therefore, I will avoid making further comment on these plans, other than to say that Goldsmiths’ potential to enhance New Cross and wider area was one of the main reasons that I wanted to get involved.