Architecture lovers have a new place to convene in London thanks to the recent completion of the Clore Learning Center at the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) headquarters. Designed by local architectural practice Hayhurst & Co, the new public destination offers a variety of interactive learning displays about architecture for all audiences, from children and families to life-long learners. In addition to its creative educational program, the space is also a beacon for sustainable design and incorporates eco-friendly materials such as bamboo and recycled yogurt containers.
Developed with input from Price and Myers, Max Fordham and Jack Wates lighting design, the Clore Learning Center is the result of Hayhurst and Co’s winning proposal in a RIBA-organized design competition in 2017. The architects drew inspiration for their design of the new playful space from architect Grey Wornum’s vision for the original RIBA headquarters, a Grade II* listed building. Located on the fourth floor of the headquarters, the Clore Learning Center includes a dedicated studio, study room, terrace and interactive display area.
“Hayhurst & Co’s design invites visitors to explore their ‘sense of space’ and develop an understanding of the architecture that surrounds us every day,” Hayhurst & Co said. “Conceived as a series of simple, delightful and adaptable interventions that enable an interactive learning experience, the spaces promote an understanding of architecture through active learning: observing, testing, making and sharing.”
Sustainability was also a major driver behind the design of the project. Instead of timber, the architects opted for fast-growing bamboo and recycled yogurt containers — leaving some lids and labels visible — as primary materials for interior furnishings. Natural daylight is emphasized indoors and complemented with energy-efficient LEDs that can be dimmed and altered depending on the occasion. A mechanical ventilation system helps provide a constant supply of fresh air.
Photography by Kilian O’Sullivan via Hayhurst & Co