Fri 27 April 2018

The University of London has agreed to a multi-million pound refurbishment for the Warburg Institute building. The building – originally designed by Charles Holden – has not been substantially updated since it opened in 1958, and this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will not only address infrastructure issues but also adopt a sensitive approach to the building to protect and nurture the future life of the Institute and to explore changes and additions needed for a more public-facing Warburg Institute.

The refurbishment project will follow the standard set of stages issued by the Royal Institute of British Architects [RIBA] known as the 'RIBA Plan of Work'. We are currently in the first phase, covering Stages 0-2, where the project is defined, the team is selected, and the costed options are explored and weighed. We are delighted to announce that following a University led selection process we will be working with the architects Haworth Tompkins. We were impressed by their list of prizes (including RIBA’s top award, the Stirling Prize), their long list of high profile projects in the educational and cultural sectors (including the London Library, the National Theatre Masterplan, the Royal College of Art's Battersea Campus, Liverpool’s Everyman, Aldeburgh Music, and almost all of London’s major theatre and opera buildings), and by their reputation for sensitive and collaborative work with clients. The project will be led by founding partner Graham Haworth, supported by Associate Director Sarah Hare. The project architects for this job are Elizabeth Flower and Hugo Braddick.

'We are very pleased to be selected as architects to work with the Warburg Institute to develop its proposals for future development. The Institute retains the feel of the bespoke, with a genuine and personal attention to detail, facilitating the pursuit of knowledge and serendipitous discovery inherited from the original foundation in Hamburg. We are at the early stages of briefing and optioning and are rapidly trying to familiarize ourselves with Aby Warburg’s picture Mnemosyne atlas, his unique classification system and the history of the Institute, for which Fleckner & Mack’s excellent compilation of papers ‘ The Afterlife of the Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg ’ is proving an invaluable guide.' 
Graham Haworth – Design Director, Haworth Tompkins

We will be providing regular updates and glimpses into the project as it develops through our newsletter, website and within the building’s public spaces.