Sammy Ofer Centre

Sheppard Robson, London, 2017

 

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A key engineering challenge arose from the dearth of information about the existing buildings 

Hufton + Crow     Download Original

  • A key engineering challenge arose from the dearth of information about the existing buildings    
  • A giant glass vitrine forms the building    
  • Steel blades and tubes brace and support the glass    
  •  A planning requirement stipulated that the view through the two buildings should remain as clear as possible    
  • The most conspicuous aspect of the programme is the linking element between the two buildings    
  • Interior view    
  • The area between the buildings was excavated to allow the reception to be set at lower ground floor level    
  • The centre is now a state-of-the-art teaching hub    
  • The Town Hall still retains a civic function, with new lecture theatres doubling as a council chamber    
  • Originally, the town hall contained registry services, council offices and meeting rooms    
  • Site plan    
  • Floor plans    
  • Sections AA, BB, CC and DD    
  • Glazed link roof and facade detail section    

A makeover of Old Marylebone Town Hall and its annexe provides new facilities for the London Business School with a bold glazed entrance.

Now remodelled as a teaching block, the Town Hall still retains a civic function, with new lecture theatres doubling as a council chamber. Its panelled ceremonial rooms are used for weddings while the Library Annexe, abandoned in the late 1990s, has been entirely taken over by the school to house its own library and a student refectory. 

The most conspicuous aspect of the programme is a new linking element between the two buildings. A giant glass vitrine forms the school’s new entrance, set a level down from the blaring thoroughfare of Marylebone Road. The glazed link structure creates a centrepiece for the design, forming a new distinct entrance to London Business School, giving sole use of the civic steps up to the Council House to the Westminster Register Office. A planning requirement stipulated that the view through the two buildings should remain as clear as possible, which led to the new structure being supported off the existing buildings. The resulting steelwork lattice responds to the structural misalignment of the existing construction. A simple diagrid was created, connecting the structural nodes at the centre of each pier, from which the layout of primary and secondary beams could be derived. 

The other major architectural addition is a new lecture theatre block to the rear, replacing a 1960s infill. Six lecture theatres have been added, the largest two joining to create a 200-capacity space. This is used as the Council Chamber for Westminster’s monthly meeting. Externally, the design of the lecture block is characterised by a daring limestone curtain projecting into the mews.

One of a number of set-piece spaces is the school’s new library, crowned by a dome of fibrous plaster and lined with oak veneer. The restoration reinstates the spatial and experiential drama of the original, while upgrading more quotidian aspects, such as environmental services, to modern standards.

Data

  • Begun: Nov 2014
  • Completed: Jul 2017
  • Floor area: 11,467m2
  • Sectors: Education, Civic
  • Total cost: £80M
  • Funding: Private
  • Procurement: Traditional
  • Address: The Old Marylebone Town Hall, Council House, 97-113 Marylebone Rd, London, NW1 5PT, United Kingdom

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