Kathleen Lonsdale Building

Blending the old and the new at UCL

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Project Overview

Client University College London
Project Value £14m
Expertise Building
Sector Education
Timeline January 2016 - December 2017
Location England - South and Midlands
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Project summary

Officially opened by Sir David Attenborough in April 2018, the Kathleen Lonsdale Building (KLB) has been repositioned as a cutting-edge laboratory, learning and research facility. Consolidating University College London’s (UCL) Department of Earth Sciences into one building for the first time in over 50 years, our £14m refurbishment and upgrade project represents one of the first major completed schemes of UCL’s £1.2bn "Transforming UCL" capital programme.

The detail

Representing GRAHAM’s second contract award at UCL (the Courtauld Building was the first), the newly refurbished KLB now accommodates the entire Department of Earth Sciences, open planned offices, shared ‘Hubs’, and a variety of breakout areas. Radically rethinking space, we reimagined 6,100m2 across four floors.

Significant improvements were made to teaching, research and social learning spaces for the existing Chemistry Group, an Astro Physics Department and a new Radio Chemistry laboratory.

Detailed phasing was adopted throughout the project, with the programme broken down into five main phases and 16 sub-phases, which ensured that the building remained in operation throughout the duration of the works. Indeed, by April 2016 the GMP lab, used to research ground-breaking medicines, was complete and in use. The original form and features of the Grade II listed building were carefully restored and, in alignment with UCL’s sustainability commitments, we achieved a 23% reduction in overall carbon emissions.

Project Gallery

"New layouts have opened up spaces to create high quality workspaces with modern facilities, sensitively blending the old and the new. The project has also delivered a substantial improvement in the environmental performance of the building with much reduced energy consumption and natural ventilation in many areas. I am delighted with the finish and quality of what’s been delivered by the project team,"

Kevin Argent, UCL's Director of Estates Development