Frequently Asked Questions
About LCF’s move
Why are we moving?
To bring our students, staff and courses together under one roof for the first time in our 116-year history. The fashion industry does not work by subject in isolation, we’ve been teaching collaboration across courses for a number of years now and it has become clear that there are increased opportunities in having all of us working closely together.
Where are we moving to?
We are moving to an area called East Bank on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, east London, this sits within the London Borough of Newham. It is part of the Lea Valley, an area of London that has an extraordinary history of industrial invention and development that is of worldwide significance. Stratford is well served for local, national, and international transport links and is in London’s Travelcard Zone 2/3.
When are we actually moving - will there be any disruption to my studies as a current student?
We have been planning to ensure that the disruption to staff and students is minimised and we will be regularly communicating with you to keep you up to date over the coming months.
We are on track for the building to be officially handed over to LCF in June 2023, the move is being planned to take place over that summer between the end of the academic year 2022/23 and the start of the new academic year.
Once the summer term has ended on 16 June 2023, the move of furniture and specialist equipment will take place during July and August. There will be restricted access to LCF buildings and the library during this time, as they move into their new space ready for the start of term. We will advertise the exact dates the library will close as soon as they are confirmed. We aim to keep the closure period as short as possible to minimise disruption. As a UAL student you can access all 6 College libraries (find your nearest library on the UAL website) as well as the library’s e-resources on libsearch.arts.ac.uk and you can still contact the team via Ask - Library Services.
Staff and students will be required to attend a building induction session before being granted full access to the building. We’ll let you know more details about this nearer the time. We will be providing tours at the start of term to help you settle into the new building.
LCF courses for the academic year 2023/24 will be delivered from the new LCF Stratford building. Our Mare Street campus will be home to the International Preparation for Fashion pre-degree course. There will be a vibrant student community at Mare Street with the arts shop selling fabrics and art supplies, whilst another part of the building will be developed to offer student accommodation in the future. Students can travel between Mare Street and East Bank (via Hackney Wick) in 30 minutes, and we encourage everyone to explore the myriad of creative businesses, shops, and cafes in the eclectic area surrounding this student hub. We won’t be having an art supplies shop on the site at Stratford but as well as the shop at Mare Street, we will be selling the resources students need; such as specialist materials, bobbins, buttons and fabrics at cost price through our e-store and materials store. This currently includes some course starter kits and we’ll be looking to expand this offer. Students and staff will also be entitled to a discount at Cass Art in Westfield.
What will happen to our existing buildings when we move out?
The plan for LCF’s existing sites is varied but will not take effect until LCF has vacated the current buildings. Some of our buildings will be sold, whilst some will be handed back to UAL to be kept and used for other purposes.
As LCF moves east, Mare Street will be home to the International Preparation for Fashion pre-degree course. There will be a vibrant student community at Mare Street with the arts shop selling fabrics and art supplies, and part of the building is currently being developed to offer student accommodation in the future. Students can travel between Mare Street and East Bank (via Hackney Wick) in 30 minutes, and we encourage everyone to explore the myriad of creative businesses, shops, and cafes in the eclectic area surrounding this student hub. We won’t be having an art supplies shop on the site at Stratford but as well as the shop at Mare Street, we will be selling the resources students need; such as specialist materials, bobbins, buttons and fabrics at cost price through our e-store and materials store. This currently includes some course starter kits and we’ll be looking to expand this offer. Students and staff will also be entitled to a discount at Cass Art in Westfield.
What is East Bank and who else is part of East Bank?
East Bank is a cultural and education district being developed by UAL along with partners including the Victoria and Albert Museum, Sadlers Wells, BBC and UCL. LCF has been collaborating with these partners for some time, but this move has created lots more opportunities to work together; things like joint research and PhD programmes, joint exhibitions, easier access for our students to the work of our partners, and many other exciting projects.
Take a look at our recent commission with the East Bank partners on LCF Stories, celebrating the 10th anniversary of the London Olympics 2012, which culminated in a live pop-up performance 'Dystopia to Utopia: Reimagining our Future'.
Our students and the move
How have students been consulted and involved in the move process?
We will be actively engaging students in move plans over the coming academic year, where students can contribute through the college rep community, participate in creating and shaping social learning communities at Stratford, lead and participate in societies, clubs volunteering activities with Arts SU, take part in focus groups, events and sign up to become ‘Student Ambassadors’ and ‘Content Creators’ to contribute to the events and write stories about LCF’s move and much more.
We have worked with Arts SU to include students on specific aspects of the development, and continue to include the student voice in research that has informed our approach to developing projects around the move with student involvement, for example, assisting with East Bank Summer Schools and events such as The Great Get Together on the park. We have also run student competitions to design elements of the project, including the hoardings next to the Aquatics Centre on the Olympic Park. Arts SU is represented on the Stratford planning meetings to ensure that student experience is being considered in all aspects relating to the move process.
We’ll be sharing details about how you can contribute to the move in the monthly student newsletter, YOUR.LCF.
If I’m not moving how does this affect me?
The reputation of your College/University really matters in the world of careers. Potential employers are interested in where you studied, and LCF’s reputation will continue to be world-leading as we use the opportunity of the move to create more industry partnerships. Alumni are encouraged to return to LCF's new site for events and knowledge exchange and to use the library and LCF Archives. We intend to increase opportunities for our alumni to work with us in the new building. There will be potential for alumni to connect to the new Centre for Fashion Enterprise and Innovation, which will deliver world-class enterprise education for our student body and support our alumni community to realise their enterprise ambitions, providing opportunities through our incubation spaces and programmes to enable businesses to scale and grow. It will benefit from the networks and activities of the Fashion District, including innovation challenges, skills development, and access to finance through the London Fashion Fund. If you are graduating this year and will not be studying in the new building, you can stay up to date with all the latest information on LCF’s move by updating your details to receive information from the Alumni Association. Read more about LCF's alumni benefits on the LCF Alumni webpage.
How is information regarding the move being disseminated to students?
Current students will receive updates via your monthly newsletter, the YOUR.LCF and any specific information by email as we approach the move in September 2023. We will also be capturing the student voice through focus groups and pop-ups.
Your course teams can also support you with any queries you may have, and all information relating to the move will be posted here on the LCF's move webpage, please check back regularly for updates.
What is the postal address of the new LCF Stratford building?
The full address of the new LCF Stratford building has been confirmed as, UAL: London College of Fashion, 105 Carpenters Road, Stratford E20 2AR.
Where is the nearest tube station – how do I get to the new building?
Stratford is the closest tube station and is one of the best-connected places in London, in Zone 2/3. It is served by international, national, and local rail lines (and more train connections than Waterloo at peak), as well as several underground lines, now including the new Elizabeth line. It is also served by multiple bus routes. If you are exiting out of Stratford Underground Station – take the escalator or lift up to ‘The Street’ (which is the outdoor part of Westfield Shopping Centre) – follow it along, and turn left at Fountain Square towards the restaurants. Head to the road, then cross into the Park.
In addition, Stratford is one of London’s prime spots for cycling, running, and walking, with more than 300 bikes available for hire in and around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. There will be cycle storage located in a secure, covered place in LCF’s new building, and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has 310 docking points for London's cycle hire scheme, Santander Cycles.
Visit tfl.gov.uk for more information on student travel and save money on your fares.
I am starting my course in September 2022, which Halls of Residence should I look at applying for?
If you are joining LCF in September 2022 or looking for accommodation this academic year, you can see the current Halls of Residence locations on the UAL website. We would recommend that you apply for the Halls which is closest to the current LCF campus, where your course will be based for the first year of your studies.
I am starting my course or returning to study in September 2023 (in the new building), which Halls of Residence should I look at applying for?
LCF courses for the academic year 2023/24 will be delivered from the new LCF Stratford building. Our Mare Street campus will be home to the International Preparation for Fashion pre-degree course and Cordwainers Court is located 30 minutes from the Mare Street campus via Hackney Wick.
UAL recognises the need to supplement its provision of student accommodation in east London to coincide with LCF’s move. There are currently 2 halls of residence located within a 15-minute walk or a 4-minute bike ride to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park; Stratford One and Wick Park.
If you have any questions or would like further information on halls of residence, please contact us via the details on the UAL accommodation webpage, and a member of our team will be happy to help.
About our future LCF building
Where are we now in the LCF Stratford building development?
In June, we updated you on the current stage of development LCF’s new building on LCF Stories. You can also check the LCF’s move webpage for regular updates on progress of the LCF Stratford building, including the recent features on library services and LCF Archives vision for the new building, and more leading up to the move in summer 2023.
How is the building is being made?
From utilising high volumes of recycled concrete for the frame, foundations
,and shell of the building to making use of existing equipment where it’s needed, East Bank has been brought to life through resources that have been recycled and repurposed.
On-site, we make use of biofuel which produces 90% less carbon emissions than diesel and, through working closely with London Legacy Development Corporation, who run the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, we have maintained UAL’s commitment to buy 100% renewable electricity and this renewable energy has been powering the pump.
Aligning with our plans to connect to a site-wide, low carbon heat network to decarbonise heating by 2028, East Bank has been connected to a district heating system that is flexible and ready to move over to the most sustainable source as soon as the necessary technologies improve.
Will there be the same or new facilities and technical equipment available in the new building?
Yes – we are investing in new equipment. Not just for the move though, we have a capital bids project every year where we assess what we need and replace and maintain. For example, the Digital Learning Lab at Mare Street has all new equipment such as VR headsets and 3D printing and scanning, which all students and staff have access to, as well as technicians on hand to advise. This is all part of our commitment to using technology with our students to really innovate and experiment, and we are planning to expand this offering to other sites.
Will students be assigned lockers?
Yes, lockers will be available for both staff and students. More information will be provided on the lockers and how they operate in due course.
Will I be able to open windows and control the light and heating?
Giving staff and students agency in their spaces has been one of the core principles of the building design, so they can control their own environments. The building has been designed to be naturally ventilated wherever possible, although the nature of some spaces within the building means that mechanical ventilation is required. All rooms in the building will have openable windows even where mechanical ventilation is present. Many of the rooms will have window shutters to help prevent glare and manage light levels in the rooms.
How does the new building contribute to UAL’s commitments to sustainability and climate action?
BREEAM is the world’s leading sustainability assessment method, using standards developed by the Building Research Establishment and the design of our new building has received Outstanding BREEAM classification, scoring the highest at the design stage for:
- energy efficiency
- management (construction, commissioning, handover, and aftercare)
- facilitating sustainable transport and active travel
- water efficiency
- sustainable land use including habitat protection and enhancement of ecology
- And long-term biodiversity management.
How will noise levels be managed within the building?
We have given lots of consideration to the acoustics of the building and have carried out sophisticated acoustic modelling throughout the building design. In many rooms, acoustic baffles (free-hanging sound absorption) have been introduced.
Will there be access to outdoor spaces in our new building?
When designing the building we really wanted external terraces and the ability to ‘step outside’. We are working with the architects to ensure that there is as much greenery and planting as possible. Garden rooms with internal planting will be located on three floors, opening onto terraces and creating inside and outside rooms, while connecting terraces wrap around two facades of the building from the 10th to the 12th floor which will give us amazing panoramic views of London.
Will there be catering facilities in our new building?
Yes, there will be excellent facilities where staff and students can purchase refreshments, such as the café seating area on the Ground floor and the refectory on the 10th floor.
Will there be car parking or bicycle parking?
There will not be provision for car parking, but there will be a generous provision for bicycle parking in the new building in a secure, covered place, as well as showers and lockers adjacent to the cycle parking. The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park also has 310 docking points for London's cycle hire scheme, Santander Cycles.
Will there be a quiet space designated in the new building?
Yes, there will be designated quiet space available. There are two quiet rooms provided on the 10th floor and if you are looking for quiet study space, this will be located in the Library on the 2nd floor.
Will there be more opportunities to showcase our work?
Showcasing the work of our students and staff is a priority, there are many spaces and opportunities for cultural programming in our new building, and we will be engaging students in the curation of these spaces. There is a new gallery, gallery foyer, and 8 vitrines, and we will programme work into the many public foyer spaces. In addition, our building opens onto a new piece of public realm where we will hold cultural events, for example, we can use the colonnade walk-throughs where there is an infrastructure built in for power, data, and rigging to facilitate catwalks, performances and installations. There will also be the potential to work with our East Bank partners to programme across all our buildings. More details on this will follow as this programme is developed. You can see examples of how we have engaged students in the current showcasing space at our John Princes Street campus in the Fashion Space Gallery through the recent exhibitions ‘It’s A Work In Progress’ and ‘Melanin Modalities in Fashion and Culture’.
How will students be familiarised with the new building, and health and safety procedures?
All staff and students will be required to attend a building induction session before being granted full access to the building. More details on this will follow as this programme is developed.
How can I find out more about new LCF building and the surrounding area?
We’ll be sharing more information and area guides on the surrounding areas coming soon, in the meantime, take a look at what’s happening on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park website.
Any further FAQs?
If you have any further FAQs that you would like to ask, please email, 4Fashion@arts.ac.uk. Do check back here regularly as we will be updating this FAQ section as new questions arise regarding LCF’s move east.