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Feb. 24, 2010

Law School set to expand into London’s Somerset House

King’s College London is to acquire the East Wing of Somerset House, one of London’s most beautiful and iconic buildings, which will provide a unique opportunity for London as an arts complex in a building which will bridge the worlds of higher education, policy and the arts.

The signing of the 78 year lease sees the conclusion to what has been described as one of the world’s longest-ever property negotiations. Since the College was built next to Somerset House in 1829 it has been in various discussions to expand into one of the wings of Somerset House itself. Now, some 180 years later, this will finally become a reality as the East Wing, which was previously occupied by the Inland Revenue, is developed.

The ground floor will be converted into space for cultural activities open to the public for the first time, and curated by Somerset House Trust. There will also be areas in the building for studies in arts and culture and continuing education, and a learning centre.

The top two floors of the building will be converted into accommodation for the College’s School of Law, which has enjoyed a tradition of excellence for more than 175 years and is recognised globally as one of Europe’s premier law schools.

The Principal of King’s College London, Professor Rick Trainor said, ‘This is an historic moment for the College. I am delighted that we will be moving into one of London’s great buildings and developing a partnership with the Somerset House Trust which will greatly enhance the student experience and enrich the cultural life of the capital.’

The East Wing will be restored to its original status as a landmark London public building, refurbished to the highest standards with its architectural harmony enhanced and public access improved. To raise money for the renovation and the various projects to be housed in the East Wing, the College will launch a £20 million fundraising campaign.

Find out more about King’s College London Law School.

Content added on 24th February 2010.

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