Friends House, Quakers UK Headquarters

Friends House London, Euston Road Building, Quakers Headquarters, Design, Project

Friends House, London

Quakers UK Headquarters Development, England – design by John McAslan + Partners

3 Aug 2012

Friends House – Quakers UK Headquarters

John McAslan + Partners awarded planning permission for refurbishment of Grade II Listed RIBA Bronze Medal winner ‘Friends House’

Friends House Building
image © John McAslan + Partners

John McAslan + Partners are delighted to announce their £4.25m proposal for the refurbishment of Grade ll Listed Friends House has received Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent. The London Borough of Camden gave the green light in July 2012 with work set to begin in 2013

18 Aug 2011

Friends House – Quakers UK Headquarters

John McAslan teams up with artist James Turrell to transform auditorium in central London

Design: John McAslan + Partners

John McAslan + Partners (JMP) has been appointed to restore and transform Friends House, the headquarters for Quakers in Britain, creating a new modern venue for central London.

Friends House exterior on Euston Road + interior:
Friends House London Friends House London
images : John McAslan + Partners

The project will breathe new life into the Grade II listed building, which sits opposite Euston Station in Bloomsbury. At the heart of the project is the restoration and redesign of the auditorium space, which will create new facilities for up to 1100 people.

The aim is to create a light, tranquil environment which includes a skylight artwork by renowned artist James Turrell. This planned artwork consists of a frameless piece of glass that will appear to float above the auditorium, connecting the interior spaces to the sky above. The serene qualities of the artwork and the design of the auditorium reflect the ethos of Friends House.

Whilst respecting the qualities of the existing building, designed by Hubert Lidbetter in 1926, JMP’s design will increase the capacity of the auditorium by connecting the main seating with the balconies. This rethinking of the auditorium’s structure will change the dynamic of the space: visitors entering on the ground floor will be able to access all areas of the auditorium, creating a more flexible, open space that has drastically improved sightlines.

The original personality of the building, including the oak timber panelling used on the existing walls, will be preserved as well as much of the structure of the auditorium space and improved AV and IT equipment will be installed.

The auditorium space will cater for a wide range of events, including theatre productions, conferences and exhibitions. The central floor space will be raised up, allowing for the space to be naturally ventilated, and the height of this area will be adjustable to create environments for a range of uses. The seating in the auditorium space is also highly-adaptable; the front seating rows will be retractable to increase the size of the flat floor area, making it more suitable for exhibitions.

As well as transforming the central auditorium space, JMP is also working on plans to create a new entrance, catering, breakout and reception areas, which could also see the central courtyard space and the open area at front of Friends House redesigned. JMP is working with Ann Minors (Theatre consultant), Alan Baxter (Contractor), Max Fordham (Mechanical and Electrical Engineer) and Stephen Cuddy (Quantity Surveyor) on the project.

James Dixon from John McAslan Partners, said, “We are delighted to be working on such prominent project. Our design, and the artwork by James Turrell, will transform the way the building is used whilst remaining true to the ethos and approach of Friends House.”

Friends House London images / information from John McAslan + Partners

John McAslan Partners

Quakers Headquarters Address:

Friends House, 173 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ

Location:Friends House, 173 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ