The Cass, Whitechapel, London

The Cass: A sense of city and exteriority

The extensive floor plate (approx. 1400m2) has been liberated by moving the existing service core that was located directly in front of the main lift and staircase lobby, to a position along the north wall of the building. This has given the possibility of making an urban space with a sense of city and exteriority within the building. When entering the new floor from the main staircase, one arrives in "the boulevard", a large shared space that connects a tapestry of studio spaces on the floor. This tapestry is structured in a similar way to Paul Klee’s painting In der Sromung sechs Schwellen, (Six wiers in the current) 1929, with its parallel bands of varying sizes of fields – a series of comb-like structures arranged next to each other.

Three geographies are arranged next to each other running in a north-south direction parallel to the Boulevard space. On the east side of the Boulevard is the geography of Room Studios. This is a series of rooms each with a large door and window facing the Boulevard, like a row of small houses on a street. Each room has a view to the city over east London. The geography facing the Boulevard on the west side are three meeting rooms and an existing light well in the centre of the floor plate. Between the Meeting Rooms there are passages that connect the Boulevard to the 3rd geography, the Open Studios on the west side of the building. The Open Studios are divided with large plywood screens to allow use by different studio groups. The intention is that this large studio hall that extends the entire length of the building is a more flexible and multi-use space that can be easily cleared for an end-of-year exhibition or rearranged for varying sizes of student groups. The windows along the western façade have a continuous floor-to-ceiling curtain to diffuse the afternoon sunlight.

As the entire building is intended to be the home of the new joint School of Art, Architecture and Design, two new open staircases have been introduced in Phase 01 to connect the fourth floor architecture studios directly to the third and fifth floor studios, like internal staircases in a house. The idea is to promote informal contacts and dialogue between students and staff of various courses, by giving the possibility of easy vertical connection from floor to floor without the necessity of using the main staircase and lifts. The Domestic Stair in the Boulevard connects the Boulevards on the fourth and third floors, and a more tower-like Domestic Stair in the Open Studio connects the fourth and fifth floor studios. It is intended that these stairs will ultimately connect the first floor to the fifth floor in a continuous promenade through the studio spaces of the entire building.


Passages between meeting rooms

Multi-use space

Building plan

The Cass, Whitechapel

The Domestic Stair

Connects the Boulevards on the 4th & 3rd floors

Three geographies

Running in a north-south direction

Recent news from The Cass

Fine Art graduate wins national award

BA Fine Art graduate named as winner of a national award.

Musarc Winter Konzert

Musarc, the architectural choir/research project based at The Cass, has announced details of their 2017 Christmas Concert.

A Modern Maypole for London’s Northbank

Half of the shortlisted designs in the London Festival of Architecture competition are by practices led by Cass alumni.

Humans Being Digital

Cass Fine art alumna participates in major exhibition exploring role of digital technologies in art.

Dr Sunny Singh explores the life and times of Bollywood’s Amitabh Bachchan

A London Met academic has written the first in-depth study of Amitabh Bachan’s film career and star persona.


Cass Theatre and Performance alumna explores madness in Shakespeare's plays.

Walford welcomes London Met alumnus

“Without the support and championship the University showed me, I wouldn't be here now,” says London Met alumnus.

Furniture and Product Design Students head to Holland

Furniture and Product Design students went on a cultural trip to Eindhoven, featuring visits to museums and creative spaces.

The Cass’s Head of Visual Communications to imagine Southampton in the future

Susanna Edwards has been asked to use her expertise to visualise what Southampton will be like in 2117.

You'll be fine

Cass alumna's project and paper explores the therapeutic benefits of creativity during illness

Notes On My Family

A London Metropolitan University graduate’s debut novel is due for publication in November 2017.

Kickstarting careers at The Cass

Kickstarter for creatives: Leading Designers and Makers discuss the power of the crowd – 28 November 2017

Big Blanket for Crisis

London Met raises awareness of homelessness in London with a Textile Design project.

The Cass architectural practice win design competition

Fergus Feilden and Edmund Fowles, who lead undergraduate Architecture Studio 11 on The Cass’s BA Architecture, have won a prestigious design competition.

Between the Sword and the Wall

An intimate group art exhibition featuring the work of three alumni of The Cass will open on 10 November.