Northeastern University’s London campus is expanding.
The campus, known as NCH at Northeastern in London, has outgrown its location in Bedford Square and is moving to a new, larger location in historic St. Katharine Docks in Central London for the start of the 2021-22 academic year.
“Since we’ve become part of Northeastern, we have continued to expand our operations and academic programs,” said Rob Farquharson, chief operating officer of Northeastern in London. “Our current building no longer has the capacity to support our growth so we’re moving to a space that will be able to accommodate our students, faculty and staff.”
The new 38,000 square-foot space is spread over two floors of a mixed-used building called Devon House on St. Katharine Docks—a location on the Thames River waterfront, nearly in the shadow of the city’s iconic Tower of London, and just a few minutes’ walk from the Tower Bridge.
The new location, which offers flexible, open-concept space, is nearly six times larger than the Georgian townhouse that currently serves as the campus. The new space will be used for teaching and learning, and will also house administrative offices.
The space features moveable walls that can turn classrooms into larger rooms for student gatherings, as well as more casual study and social spaces with easily moveable furniture that can also be converted to meet student and faculty needs. Large windows on both floors also offer views of the Thames and Central London.
The design incorporates elements throughout to support the groups and individuals who want to gather in flexible spaces. Much of the shared space can transform in size and includes furniture that can be configured quickly based on individual preferences. The new ventilation system is also designed to exceed the current health and safety standards.
The space will also support interdisciplinary research activities. Several NCH faculty are already active in research. Planning for collaborations among faculty across Northeastern are underway, including projects led by Northeastern’s Network Science Institute, the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, and the George J. Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security.
“It’s a game-changer for us; our London campus affords our learners mobility and diverse experience, and we expect that it’ll become a launchpad for Northeastern in Europe and eventually Asia,” says Mary Ludden, senior vice chancellor for Northeastern.
Northeastern partnered with NCH at Northeastern—formerly New College of the Humanities—in 2019. The campus in London joined the university’s global network, which also includes campuses in Toronto; Vancouver; Seattle; the Bay Area; Portland, Maine; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Massachusetts campuses in Boston, Nahant, and Burlington.
“This is a practical move, but also a symbolic one,” Farquharson said. “The next phase of our development will see us retain many of the values redolent in the Georgian townhouse we were founded in but will also see us build on these as we become more integrated with Northeastern’s network.”
Student enrollment in London is expected to double over the next couple of years, including new programs being added.
Professional and academic staff will begin moving into Devon House in the summer of 2021. Student courses and activities will be held there starting September 2021.
St. Katharine Docks is well-served by public transport, including the London Underground, Docklands Light Railway, buses, mainline rail, and the Thames Clipper service.