Conference Centre, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Refurbishment of historic meeting rooms for Grade II Listed building to conservation standards

Burwell Architects are part of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine's Framework team to deliver a range of refurbishment projects for their Grade II Listed building at Keppel Street. The LSHTM was established in 1924, with the main Keppel Street building of the school built between 1926 and 1929 as a purpose designed facility following an architectural competition won by Percy Morley Horder, with the likely assistance of Verner O Rees.

Situated on the ground floor of the building, rooms G.04 and G.05 were originally designed and built as the Board Room and Staff Common Room, respectively. The original use and status of the rooms is reflected in the care taken in the selection of materials and the attention to detail, as seen in a historic photograph the Board Room taken shortly after the building’s completion and published in the Architects Journal. Both rooms incorporate hardwood panelling (thought to be oak) to all four walls, matching hardwood double doors leading to the adjacent corridor and a hardwood double door connecting the two rooms. The Board Room incorporated a patterned cork floor, hardwood boardroom table and chairs, ornate cornice, and curtains.

Refurbishment of the rooms over the years to meet the changing requirements of the LSHTM has resulted in a loss of some of the original features such as the fire place. Most notably, the introduction of a suspended lay-in tile ceiling in both rooms and carpet over the existing cork flooring has resulted in a deterioration of the character and perceived status of the rooms. Part of the project brief for the refurbishment was to restore the rooms back to their original character, and to upgrade the technical facilities to meet the standards of contemporary conferencing and meeting requirements. Numerous design layouts were developed and tested for both rooms, using both existing and new, fixed and flexible furniture. The intention has been to return the presence and gravitas of the rooms to feel like that are representative of the LSHTM as a world class institution.

Client: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Lead Architect: Burwell Architects

Structural Engineer: Wilde Consulting

Building Services: Troup Bywaters + Anders

Acoustics: Ion Acoustics

Fire Consultant: BuroHappold

AV Consultant: GVAV

Project Data

Construction Completed: 2023

GIA: 136 sqm