SOAS University of London

Estates and Facilities

Brunei Building Refurbishment

Work is progressing well with the HEFCE-funded improvements to refurbish the Brunei building.

With the BGLT, ground floor and first floor now completed and reopened, the Ground Floor and First Floor are currently seeing their first overhaul since the building was put up 25 years ago.  Works are now nearing completion on the second floor.

Among the changes being made are:

  • ​full electrical, lighting, data and AV overhaul
  • ​larger rooms being created compared to the original designs, allowing SOAS to better meet the range of student teaching needs across the estate
  • ​​acoustic treatment and double glazing which means improved use of space for languages, film and music

Lessons learned from PWW are being put in place, for example with more whiteboards added to internal walls.

The refurbishment will also bring more natural light into the whole space - with glazed panels on rooms opening onto corridors. Improved blinds for blackout also help with best use of AV for higher quality images display. There will also be better ventilation to push air through the building.

The area which had been the Brunei Suite - with a food preparation area and L shaped large room - will become a learning space focussed on languages, with a large new classroom on the east side (facing Russell Square) and an open space for informal learning, following the G1 design. That open space will also double as space for evening events and activities, which will make it useful for post-BGLT events. The removal of the kitchen space, actually provides a better shape for meetings, talks and discussion.

Plans also include better use of the space with the Brunei Gallery entrance itself, with glazing on two sides of the entrance, creating two informal spaces by the entrance. Inventive use of this kind of informal space has proved a popular approach elsewhere in recent developments SOAS.

Francine Hill, Director of Estates Projects, said: "The funds from HEFCE which support this project are really being put to good effect for both languages and arts, and for SOAS activities overall. This will really mean better use of the facilities for teaching and learning, and help enhance the experience for our students.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact:

Adam Waite –