GRAHAM Construction has completed SOAS University of London’s £17.3 million redevelopment of the North Block of its iconic Senate House. The project has transformed an underused courtyard to create a multi-purpose space through the addition of an architecturally ambitious glass roofed-atrium constructed between the existing Grade II* listed buildings. Two Olympic swimming pools-worth of spoil were excavated through a window on a conveyor belt to produce a double height space that maintains natural ventilation to the North Block’s upper levels. Providing an additional 1000 sq m, it will be home to the new Student Hub, which includes student finance, careers and enterprise services with a breakout area and café.
The freestanding £1 million glass roof has created a beautiful and inspiring interior for both students and staff for formal and informal teaching and learning. The structure allows in natural light and ventilation that will help keep running costs and energy consumption low. Rainwater will be collected from the roof, stored and reused within the building; a system that has only been retrofitted into a handful of listed buildings.
In addition, 7000 sq m of accommodation over five floors within the North Block have been refurbished to provide a mixture of high-quality teaching facilities, study areas and academic offices, as well as open-plan space.