Woolf Institute

Client Woolf Institute of Abrahamic Faiths
Type New build
Use Teaching and research space, with library and accommodation
Date 2017

Designed to foster a collegiate atmosphere and situated within the grounds of the Arts and Crafts style Grade II listed Westminster College, the Woolf Institute combines echoes of the surrounding architectural language with a state of the art research facility.

The new built-for-purpose headquarters for the Woolf Institute provides a major conference facility, a library and research archive, seminar rooms, offices, student accommodation, a quiet room, a research hub as well as a media centre with recording studio. The building also houses research space for a second interdisciplinary research enterprise, the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion.

The highly transparent and open design in the public and academic areas mirrors the function of the research institute to encourage discourse, and particularly between the researchers of the three Abrahamic faiths.

At the very heart and core of the building a singular triple height atrium draws natural light throughout the breadth and depth of the building. This approach repeated with ground level roof lights and a spacious helical stair in the two story library, as well as being complemented by the careful lighting scheme, ensures comfortable environments in the special rooms in the basement level.