The Cass at Calcutta: a home for creativity

We take a look at the new facilities opening to students at The Cass as the School completes its move to Calcutta House.
Date: 11 September 2017

Phase 2 of The Cass’s move to Calcutta House is nearly complete, marking the first time in the School’s history that all disciplines are under one roof. The new academic year will see all staff and students previously based at Central House make the short move down the road to the newly refurbished Calcutta complex.

The complex, which includes Calcutta House, Goulston Street, and the Annexe buildings, is home to a number of state-of-the-art facilities for students, incorporating new workshops, refurbished studio spaces and exhibition areas.

The move is part of London Metropolitan University’s exciting One Campus|One Community project, a multi-million pound investment in new facilities, technology and curriculum development.

Evolving to meet the needs of our time

Over summer the Annexe building has been completely converted, replacing the old offices with four open floors of spacious studios, lecture spaces and seminar rooms. The block will now be home to The Cass’s Fine Art and Photography courses, with an exhibition space located on the ground floor. Opening on 8 September, The Cass MA show, ‘Other Worlds’, will be the first event hosted in the brand new exhibition space, giving visitors the opportunity to see the building’s refurbishment first hand.

The School’s Architecture courses will be based in Goulston Street, where a combination of individual and open plan studio spaces have been developed alongside staff offices. The Goulston Street Atrium will host a further area for exhibitions, a social space and a newly-refurbished cafe.

A move for making

Underlining ‘making’ as the core of The Cass’s ethos, a number of new workshops have been opened in Calcutta House, encouraging students to learn through exploration and experiment.

Ceramics and casting will have new spaces on the ground floor of Calcutta House, the jewellery and fine metal workshop will be housed on the fifth and the photographic workshops, darkrooms and lighting studios will occupy the basement area.

These new facilities join the existing workshops for metal, woodwork, digital print, finishing, upholstery, letterpress, on-site hire shop and film and animation studios, to create a hub of hands-on learning.

There has also been significant investment in new audio-visual technologies in teaching spaces, along with new PC and Mac suites.

Andy Stone, Head of The Cass, said: “The Cass’s culture and location combine to make a truly special, and unique, blend. We’ve worked hard to develop our innovative, studio-based teaching approach and The Cass’s ethos of making lets students learn through exploration whilst refining their work with extraordinary craft and skill.

“Our new home and facilities open up a new world of collaboration and creativity for students and staff. There has never been a more exciting time to join The Cass.”

A year of successes for The Cass

The final stage of the move to Calcutta House follows a year of huge successes for The Cass.

The past year has seen a number of courses soar through national league tables, with Art and Design named as second in London, and sixth in the UK, for student satisfaction in this year’s Complete University Guide league tables and Fine Art ranked second in London for student satisfaction by the Guardian.

Design and Crafts also rose a phenomenal 30 places in the Guardian’s subject tables, with significant increases in student satisfaction and graduate employment. Architecture also jumped 9 places, ranking third in London for overall course satisfaction, while Fashion and Textiles rose 4 places from last year.

Calcutta House can now be visited as a part of the University's Open Days, giving students a taste of life in The Cass’s new home.