SOAS University of London

SOAS into Senate House: new balconies look out over central atrium

15 May 2015

As two balconies are installed in the courtyard of Senate House North Block, the impressive centrepiece of the development begins to take shape.

The balconies provide access to the central atrium at the entrance level of the building, creating a seamless transition through the building. Located on the east and west sides of the courtyard, the balconies are being constructed using a technique called formworking. This involves moulds of wood put into position to make a temporary floor structure before concrete is poured in to make the permanent floor. Support for each balcony is provided by four concrete pillars, a design that will help to retain the open plan feel of the space as will the use of glass balustrades. The balconies will provide walkways enabling people to access informal learning spaces, student support services, cloister, café and other areas around the building.

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The balconies provide walkways, and the East balcony will link the lower and ground floors

Once the balconies are completed, an imposing angled staircase leading from the east balcony will link the lower and ground floors. The contemporary design of the atrium complements the character of the Grade II listed building.

Work continues inside the building which is scheduled to open in summer 2016 at the start of the School’s centenary year

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Construction of the East balcony is in its early stages
Senate House Mezzanine
An artist's impression of the mezzanine and steps

Take a look inside the building and keep up-to-date with developments and images of construction and restoration work by visiting SOAS into Senate House.

If you have any questions for the Senate House North Block Project Team, please email