University Square

Educational excellence in the east of London

Education, further, higher and adult, is absolutely central to Stratford’s regeneration plans, realised in the new £33m University Square, Stratford - opened by HRH The Princess Royal in autumn 2013.

Birkbeck, University of London and the University of East London (UEL) have joined together in a progressive partnership to create a major teaching and learning hub to meet the growing academic aspirations of people in east London and beyond.

The five-storey, 8,600 sq m building in the heart of the cultural quarter was designed by one of London’s most exciting young architectural practices, Make. The project was supported by the London Borough of Newham, London Thames Gateway Development Corporation and the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

The new education hub houses dedicated spaces for flexible full-time, part-time and evening study for 3000 students from Birkbeck and UEL in subjects including law, social sciences, accounting, and digital arts, drawing on resources from departments in both institutions. 

University Square will enable the two universities to foster further links with the cultural community in the area, such as Stratford Circus, the Picturehouse cinema and the Theatre Royal. It is also available to local community, business and arts groups.

The building’s design is as progressive as the educational opportunities on offer: large areas of glass, photovoltaic panels, a green roof, and an expansive ’learning garden’ on a car-free, landscaped site.

This striking piece of civic architecture is a dramatic addition to the area, in line with the great buildings from Stratford’s past, and the innovative, contemporary structures which are turning east London into the UK’s prime centre for architectural innovation.