We are delighted to have recently completed the Dreadnought Student Centre for the University of Greenwich.

Originally built as the Infirmary for Greenwich Hospital in the 1760’s to designs by James Stuart, the building became the Dreadnought Seaman’s Hospital following the move of the Seaman’s Hospital Mission in 1870 from a series of ‘Dreadnought’ hospital ships moored in Greenwich. The hospital eventually moved as a unit to St Thomas’s in 1986 and the Dreadnought was abandoned.The university accquired a 125 year lease from the Greenwich Hospital in the late 1990’s and DJA refurbished the building as the main university roofing over the central courtyard at basement and ground floor, and fitting out the upper floors.

Following the library’s move to Stockwell Street we were pleased to have the opportunity to adapt this building again. This time, a lightweight steel structure has been inserted into the courtyard on which a new roof canopy and two mezzanine floors are supported. The ceiling under the canopy has been clad in linear Douglas fir panels, complementing the oak floor and mezzanine soffits, and punctured with large skylights to create a warm, yet light and expansive central atrium. Within this space, flexible furniture and bespoke joinery furnish publicly accessible seating areas, social learning spaces and servery for 300 covers.

The historic brickwork vaults in the basement have been cleaned and repaired to form an atmospheric backdrop to the new 500 person bar and function rooms, as well as a fully equipped gym and changing facilities. The upper floors of the building have been refurbished for use as teaching spaces, IT labs and offices, all integrated with advanced audiovisual systems, including a radio station and media suite.

The challenge has been to integrate the necessary services and new structure required while respecting the historic fabric of the building. We would like to thank our project team which included Fanshawe, Willmott Dixon, Andrew Reid and Partners and Alan Baxter Partnership for this successful collaboration.

The building was officially opened on 30th November by the University’s Chancellor, the Rt Hon. Baroness Scotland PC QC and central atrium facilities are available to be enjoyed by the public.

Dreadnought Building

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