13 June 2014
Major construction work has begun on Senate House North Block (SHNB) to expand SOAS, University of London's vibrant campus around a central precinct in the heart of Bloomsbury, London's prestigious district of learning and heritage.
The redevelopment of the iconic building, Senate House, will enable SOAS, the world's leading institution for the languages, cultures and societies of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, to improve the student experience significantly by offering state-of-the-art facilities and modern learning and teaching spaces for staff and students. The expansion project will also accommodate the planned increase by 25% of SOAS' cosmopolitan student body and bring staff and students together on one centrally located campus.
The construction project will take place across five floors of the landmark 1930s University of London building, which will include the creation of a plaza under a double curvature glass canopy. Within this building a one-stop student hub will be created to provide services across accommodation, counselling, course registration, student finance, careers and enterprise to enhance the student experience.
Construction firm Graham has been appointed to lead on the build of the project. The building contractor will also work to reduce the environmental impact of the renovations and will be using new technologies to ensure the building is environmentally sustainable. This project will be part of the pilot BREEAM Excellence 2014 award (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method), which is the industry standard for best practice in sustainable design.
The start of the campus enhancement project was marked with a ground-breaking ceremony last month where Director of SOAS Professor Paul Webley was joined by major philanthropic supporters.
Professor Webley said: "The refurbished Senate House North Block will offer state-of-the-art research, teaching and student provision, all in one precinct, and create a centralised 21st century campus for our world class institution. The architecturally revolutionary design honours the heritage of the building and caters to the needs of our students, staff and visitors."
The redevelopment works are due to be completed by January 2016.