City University isn’t known for its beautiful buildings and campuses like other London universities. Its campus isn’t isolated to one spot too, it’s a mishmash of traditional and modern buildings each from different time periods showing which generation of London and the university it belongs to. The buildings definitely won’t be winning any beauty competitions any time soon though, and I often wonder what the architect was thinking.
That being said, if you decide to study at City then these will be your second homes for the next three to four years – and it’s not that bad. There are cafes, study rooms and common rooms spread throughout the university campus and it’s guaranteed that one of these buildings will have one of your favourite chill and hangout spots.
1. College Building
College building is often considered the poster child of City. If you do a Google search it’s guaranteed that an image of the iconic red brick building and its clock tower will show up. City isn’t known for having grand architecture like UCL or Kings, but entering this historic building does instil a little bit of pride. It’s also one of the more cosier buildings with couches and common rooms dotted throughout its floors.
2. University Building
The University building sits right in front of Northampton Square. Despite being the main entrance to the university, it’s easily one of the ugliest buildings on the university campus. Built in the 1960s, the simple industrial feel actually makes it look like a block of council flats or offices. It was renovated last year and despite the new modern interior, the outside is still very lacklustre.
Inside is a completely different story as it received a makeover with a new reception, study areas and cafes. The interior and modern feel do make up for the looks department. You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but honestly, walking into such a dreary looking building can give you a case of the morning blues. You do feel a little better once inside though.
3. Tait Building
This building can be considered an extension of the main University building. It underwent renovation from 2016 to 2018 and thanks to that it’s gone up in my rankings (even though the outside still isn’t the prettiest). Tait is where most societies are held and it’s also home to new cafes, cafeterias and study areas where you can spend the time between lectures. It’s also home to City Bar where students can study and chill during the day, they often hold weekly events too.
4. Rhind Building
Rhind building is the easily the most modern building we have on campus. It’s minimalistic, has an entire wall of glass panelling, and ironically enough, sits just opposite the traditional red-bricked College building. It’s got 5 floors with multiple lifts and honestly, it isn’t bad to look at.
Its main drawback is that there’s not a lot to do there aside from the small cafe and seating area on the bottom floor. It’s mainly used for meetings and classes with not much else. If you have a break between lessons it’s better to spend your time in one of the many study areas or common rooms in the University and College buildings.
5. Drysdale building
Drysdale building honestly doesn’t offer that much aside from classrooms and lecture halls. The main perk is that it does have a 24-hour study area with booths and computers for both individual and group projects. It’s a little safe haven for when the main library is packed during the exam and deadline seasons. That being said, it’s probably my least favourite building. It’s attached to the University building and also been renovated to fit the new modern style, but the other side of the building is still very unsightly with its worn brick and concrete slabs.