The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) is a world leading research and higher education institution located within the Bloomsbury Conservation Area in Central London. As part of a long term development strategy the LSHTM are implementing phased internal refurbishment works and replacement of the ageing services infrastructure in order to support and enhance its leadership role for the next decades. Ian Ritchie Architects were appointed to develop a Master Plan for the 1929 Grade II listed LSHTM building at Keppel Street to guide future development and upgrading of the building fabric and infrastructure over the course of the next 15 to 20 years. The ambitious objectives of the Master Plan needed to be balanced against a careful consideration of the significant heritage value of the existing building. An important aspect of the Master Plan was the consolidation of the highly serviced research laboratory spaces, currently dispersed around the building, to the 2004 North Courtyard infill building and adjacent NE and NW wings with less highly serviced spaces migrating into the more heritage sensitive Keppel Street and west and east wings.
Phase 1 of the Master Plan included 560m2 of new containment level 2 and level 3 laboratories located within the existing North Courtyard building improving the internal acoustic environment and creating a new plant deck and external services installations above roof level. The process of developing the design for the Phase 1 works within the less contentious heritage context of the North Courtyard building provided an opportunity for iRAL to gather important knowledge relating to the 1920s building’s structural capacity, services infrastructure, location of asbestos, and importantly to review and test the LSHTM spatial and operational requirements and priorities against the constraints of the building. Phase 1 works were completed in October 2018.
The subsequently planned Phase 2 works are located within the north west, central and west wings of the existing building at Level 2 and include a new containment level 3 lab, a central autoclave and glass wash facility, a new teaching lab, write-up spaces and substantial infrastructure upgrade works throughout the building. Phase 2 works were started in June 2020 and are due for completion in September 2021.