The main building of the Goldsmiths campus, a familiar landmark for local and those stuck on traffic on the A2 in New Cross, is to receive a £1.4 million refurbishment this summer.
The Richard Hoggart Building, named after the literary critic and former warden of the College is over 160 years old
Renovations will take place over a six month period which will see restorations made to its period features and changing the forecourt parking area into a social area with seating, improved access and a space that can be used for outdoor performances and events, as well as widening the entrance and reception of the building.
The current Warden of Goldsmiths, Patrick Loughrey said: “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.”
Mary Quant, the fashion designer and a former Goldsmiths student is heading an appeal to the Goldsmiths community 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.”
The College has also started work to convert 286 New Cross Road into a professional recording studio that will enable students to graduate with a portfolio of recordings and it is hoped that the studio will also be available for community hire. The full details of the recording studio plans can be found here. The college has a growing reputation as a centre for music with recent graduates including Katy B and James Blake, while Blur were formed at Goldsmiths in the late 1980’s.
The renovation plan is designed to give the campus more of a community feel.
Internal works, started in June in the Richard Hoggart Building, are scheduled to be completed in August while the improvements to the forecourt, which started at the same time, will be finished in December.