Rock Townsend has been appointed by The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) to refurbish the Philips Building on its Bloomsbury Campus. Originally designed by Denys Lasdun and completed in 1973, the refurbishment of this grade II* listed building will require a balance between the sensitive re-articulation of Lasdun’s original vision and modern interventions that meet the needs and expectations of today’s staff and students.
A similar design approach has been successfully delivered on our recent refurbishment and extension of Charles Holden’s grade II* listed Senate House, also for SOAS. This involved the careful design of a major new glazed atrium roof, that sits respectfully but boldly in the context of the historic courtyard façades, as well as the sensitive refurbishment of over 6,500sqm of surrounding accommodation.
The Philips Building project will involve the re-working and enhancement of academic accommodation and general circulation areas including unlocking corner spaces at the upper levels to create new social learning environments. The works also include improvements to lighting, wayfinding and the recladding of the link bridge that connects to the College Building.
The project forms part of a wider refurbishment of this unique ‘pavilion’ building which houses an impressive top-lit library at its centre. It will create a refreshed sense of place for students and staff and continue the commitment of SOAS to safeguarding the future its extraordinary estate.