© Mr Joe Sue
SENATE HOUSE AND INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION (UNIVERSITY OF LONDON) AND ATTACHED RAILINGS, MALET STREET (east side)
CAMDEN TOWN, CAMDEN, GREATER LONDON
Mr Joe Sue
03 August 2004
28 March 1969
Date of last amendment:
28 March 1969
The Images of England website consists of images of listed buildings based on the statutory list as it was in 2001 and does not incorporate subsequent amendments to the list. For the statutory list and information on the current listed status of individual buildings please go to The National Heritage List for England.
TQ2981NE MALET STREET
798-1/99/1101 (East side)
28/03/69 Senate House & Institute of
Education (University of London) &
Senate House and Institute of Education. 1932-1938. By Charles
Holden, built with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation.
Brick load-bearing construction with Portland stone facing.
Symmetrical design, not completed, comprising central tower
flanked by two courtyard ranges to either side.
The southern, completed half, houses the ceremonial and
administrative functions of the University of London. The
northern half houses the Institute of Historical Research and
School of Slavonic Studies in more functional surrounding:
north-east wing not completed. The initial concept of a
single, spinal building extending the length of Torrington
Square was abandoned as building began, but survives in model
form displayed on the first floor balcony of Senate House.
EXTERIOR: central, higher fourth floor is the University
library, with above it offices and bookstack housed in the
formal 18-storey tower built in recessed stages with broad
central buttresses on the east and west sides. 6 windows at
1st floor level. 4 and 5 storey wings with 10-window forward
return and 14 windows width each. Under enriched, flat
canopies, 2 square-headed entrances each side of the central
buttress, all with 2-leaf glass doors with vertically
patterned metal grills. Above the canopies small rectangular
windows with patterned grills and keystones. Square-headed,
recessed windows with metal frames, those at 1st floor level
on the tower being elongated with enriched spandrel panels and
flanked by medium sized windows at the angles, with balconies,
culminating in lunettes at 6th floor level. From the 2nd floor
to the 18th, small vertically set windows, in groups of 3
until the penultimate stage when they are continuous. Flanking
wings with metal balconies to windows at angles. Flat roofs
with plain bands at parapet levels. East facade similar. Inner
courtyards similarly treated, with hopper heads dated 1936.
INTERIOR: imposing Egyptianate entrance hall at base of tower
with travertine floor and walls with broad fluted pilasters a
semi-open space giving through access, with doors to south
leading to Senate House and to north to Institute of
Historical Research and School of Slavonic Studies.
Senate House. Principal spaces all with travertine cladding to
walls and floors, ceilings of moulded plaster with flat panel
patterns and embellishments based on a London plane tree
motif. Staircases floored in travertine, with bronzed
balustrades treated as stylised Ionic columns. Principal
entrance hall on two levels with first floor balcony having
elaborate bronzed balustrade: Holden's original model
On ground floor there is to east the MacMillan Hall, named
after Lord MacMillan first Chairman of the University Court,
with square panelled ceiling, travertine walls decorated as
fluted pilasters at end and to sides set with acoustic panels
to Holden's design and coloured glass, teak floor, and
original light fittings. Memorials to HRH Queen Mother,
Chancellor 1955-80, and to Princess Royal, Chancellor 1981- .
William Beveridge Hall, named after the University's Vice
Chancellor 1926-8, retains dado panelling set with brass
filets in Greek key pattern under acoustic quilting, with
semi-permanent seating and stage.
On first floor processional stair leads to Chancellor's Hall,
with square panelled timber to window recesses, travertine
cladding, and square panelled plaster ceilings. Inlay pattern
floors, original doors and fittings. To east a suite of rooms
set round courtyard includes Court Room and Senate Room.
Senate Room and ante rooms fully panelled in English walnut,
the former of double height with trabeated ceilings, original
fixed seating in stepped rows arranged like a council chamber
with dias. Bronze uplighters. Ante rooms with heraldic glass
by E Bossanyi dated 1937. On north side committee room and
processional suite of corridors with dado panelling and
moulded cornices, original furnishings and fittings. On south
side the Vice Chancellor's offices not inspected.
Second floor staff common rooms and third floor common rooms
and refectories originally with painted mural ceilings. Those
in refectory not seen under later acoustic tiles; war memorial
tablet in corridor.
Fourth floor libraries of double height. Two general reading
rooms, the Middlesex Libraries, finished in oak with original
bookshelves and fittings of English walnut. Goldsmith's
Library to south with glazed bookcases, and ceiling of cypress
wood and stained glass by E Bossanyi. Above these the
bookstacks supported by steel frame on concrete raft. The
offices retain original doors, lettering and fittings. The
whole is a remarkably unaltered ensemble of 1930s design, with
a high proportion of highly decorated ceremonial spaces over
The Institute of Historical Research and School of Slavonic
Studies with ground-floor entrance hall of single-storey
height, travertine floors and finishings similar in style but
simpler than those found in Senate House.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: attached cast-iron railings on stone
sleeper wall and gates of radial pattern with central bosses
containing coats of arms. Pillars with pilasters and geometric
enrichment, those at the gates surmounted by rectangular
down-lighter lamps with small defused panes and topped by
HISTORICAL NOTE: built as a landmark, in 1937 this was the
tallest building in London apart from St Paul's Cathedral.
(University of London: The Senate House and Library: London: