soas is on London University's central site in Bloomsbury. Its original building is a rather ordinary listed late work of Charles Holden, a muted echo of his splendid Senate House nearby. A major extension, including a new library, was completed by Denys Lasdun in 1973 and is a significant work by a modern master. McAslan's project to extend soas, which began as a campus development plan in 1997, is rooted in respect for the work of Holden and Lasdun - the latter consulted as proposals have been drawn up. New modularised building elements will overlook the gardens, long- neglected, but due for upgrading as a focus for the university quarter. Neither of the original buildings will be significantly altered but lightly 'touched' to form linkages. The project is a delicate exercise in responding to a complex urban setting, as well as to creative space management, low- energy servicing strategies and heritage politics.
Client: School of Oriental and African Studies
Architect: John McAslan & Partners: Hiro Aso, Andrew Hapgood, Martin Harris, Martin Hopp, Martin Markcrow, John McAslan, Ian Troake, Pat West
Structural engineer: Whitby & Bird
mep engineer: eda
Quantity surveyor: Madlin & Madison
Programme: 1997 onwards