A large late 20th century concrete brutalist building opposite Baker Street Station in London announces the University of Westminster Marylebone Campus. Here, at the start of term, the campus is heaving with new students looking to transform their lives through the next few years of study.
As with many universities, they are a complex contradiction of facilities. On the ground floor, with views off the new “town square” is the financial trading room where terminals access Bloomberg data with the latest financial information, an essential teaching and project facility for any 21st century financial/business training institution. Below this, in the deep basement of the university, is a huge 14.000 sq ft arts space which many commercial organisations would give their eye-teeth to own in the middle of London. This incredible space was formally a construction workshop and, fortunately for the university, the Ambika Paul Foundation also saw the potential of the space and has provided support for it as a space for innovation, experimentation and learning.
The Bloomberg Trading Room is a major facility that not only supports students in their teaching and research but, with a glass wall in the main entrance area of the campus, show the University at the cutting edge of financial trading.
This week, being the week when the arts world descends on London with Frieze and other arts exhibitions, Ambika, also called P3 has been home to SUNDAY Art Fair, an annual fair of contemporary art that that focuses on new and emerging artists and galleries from a wide range of countries.
This year 25 international galleries are exhibiting solo or curated presentations, alongside 4 UK institutions showcasting an incredible range of artistic talent including: Darja Bajagic, Jesse Benson, Catherine Biocca, Kim Seob Boninsegni, Michal Budny, Bonnie Camplin, Benjamin Carlson, Giulia Cenci, Lea Cetera, Andrea Crespo, Bryan Dooley, Laurent Dupont & Lucy Mckenzie, Elif Erkan, Cécile B Evans, Louisa Gafliardi, Daiga Grantina, Rubén Grilo, Jan Kiefer, Jiri Kovanda, Talisa Lallai, James Lewis, Alexander Lieck, Daniel Lipp, Maxim Liulca, Jimmy Merris, Daniele Milvio, Matthew Musgrave, Steven Parrino, Harsh Patel, Joanna Piotrowska, Hayal Pozanti, Zak Prekop, Alex Rathbone, Charlie Roberts, Matt Siegle, Eric Sidner, Brad Troemel, Yannick Val Gesto, Jack Vickridge, Ulrich Wulff and Norman Zammitt.
Two very different facilities in the heart of London, adding to the University’s Regent Street cinema, which confirms the university’s academic credentials and its position in the cultural and economic world of London.