Hall McKnight were commissioned for this project in early 2014 following their success in the international RIBA design contest in 2012. The project developed into a masterplan to connect and integrate a series of buildings gathered around the central space of the founding Campus of King’s College, King’s Quadrangle. The gathering of these buildings involved a series of interventions and new buildings proposed for the highly sensitive site. The site is located amongst some of the most significant of London’s Grade 1 listed buildings. King’s hope to expand their accommodation at the Strand Campus to provide high quality teaching and learning space including a new learning commons. The project involves the construction of a new building on the Strand, alterations and extensions to the Strand Building, including the refurbishment of a large lecture theatre and the construction of a new building within the Quadrangle. The principles established during the design competition have endured through the development of the project so that the new built elements combine to re–establish the order of the classical plan of Somerset House and create a more connected campus.
The proposal seeks to engage with the history of the site to produce a project that enhances the setting of the existing listed buildings, whilst establishing a strong, distinct character to the Quadrangle as the focus of the campus. The planning and listed building consent applications were submitted in early December 2014.
Following a change to the estates strategy, involving the acquisition of the Aldwych Quarter by King’s in 2015, the development of the site is being pursued as a series of separate projects, 3 of which are being progressed with Hall McKnight as architect and design team leader.