By continuing to use the site you agree to our Privacy & Cookies policy

Your browser seems to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser.


Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.


AJ exclusive: Hall McKnight wins King’s College job

Northern Ireland practice emerges from diverse shortlist of contenders to land design commission for £20 million remodelling of London campus

Belfast-based Hall McKnight has seen off an eclectic shortlist including Zaha Hadid to win the RIBA competition to design a £20 million overhaul of
King’s College London’s campus.

The firm also beat Eric Parry Architects, Henley Halebrown Rorrison and two Spanish contenders - Barcelona-based Carme Pinos Studio with Soto-Lay Architects and the emerging Barozzi Veiga Studio.

The project will revamp the university’s Strand Quadrangle, transforming its undercroft into a 3,700m² study area and creating a ‘bridge’ between the university’s Robert Smirke-designed King’s Building and William Chambers’ Somerset House East Wing.

RIBA adviser to the competition, Niall McLaughlin said:  ‘This competition contained a strong and diverse international field. The quality of the submissions was very high. It was a pleasure to witness each of the presentations.

‘Hall McKnight showed an ability to move from a detailed historical investigation to a very confident design synthesis. This shows great promise and maturity. I am confident that they can work well with King’s to develop a very successful building in this extraordinary setting.’

Ian Caldwell, director of estates and facilities at King’s, said: ‘By uncovering layers of the past, Hall McKnight showed a real engagement with the history of the buildings surrounding the quad. The competition jury panel was impressed with the practice’s passion, intelligence, strategic sense and communicative ability.’

The college drew up an intriguing list of finalists, ranging from international big-hitters to emerging overseas firms.

Speaking as the contenders were announced (AJ 26.06.12), RIBA adviser Niall McLaughlin said: ‘The client was keen to explore a diverse range of approaches to
the commission and chose a list of practices which ensured an interesting variety of responses.’

Plans are due to be submitted in spring 2013, with a scheduled opening in time for the 2014-15 academic year.

Read Stephen Best’s review of Hackett Hall McKnight’s ‘powerful and decidedly individual’ Metropolitan Arts Centre in Belfast here (AJ 10.05.2012).

Subscribe to AJ for £3 per week

Subscribe today and receive 47 issues of the magazine, 12 issues of AJ Specification and full access to and the AJ Buildings Library

Are you a student?

Students can subscribe to the AJ for £8 per month or £1.60 per week! Click here to start receiving the most recommended magazine for architecture students


Readers' comments (3)

  • chris Dyson

    A beautiful and imaginative scheme by Hall McKnight respectful of context and imaginatively modern. A breath of fresh air good to see them win! I wish them the best of luck delivering the scheme.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Wonderful news for a wonderful practice

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • You can have a more detailed look at Hall McKnights proposals at;

    Unsuitable or offensive?

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment.

Related Jobs

Sign in to see the latest jobs relevant to you!

The searchable digital buildings archive with drawings from more than 1,500 projects

AJ newsletters