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Senate House

 

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  • Senate House
  • Senate House from Centrepoint

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Other Information

  • Senate House is formerly London's tallest skyscraper which managed to break the height limits of the day by locating archives on the upper floors.
  • There were originally plans for two towers over a 30 year construction programme but the outbreak of World War 2 along with the remodeling of this area of Bloomsbury but these were dropped after the war was over.
  • As an an intermediate building architecturally speaking, there is much argument over whether this building is European Modernism, American Modernism or Classicism thanks to the pick and mix attitude that Holden employed.
  • Unusually for the era, Holden avoided using a structural steel frame during construction. His belief was that metal framed buildings would not last the five hundred years he planned for Senate House to survive for.
  • Senate House is rumoured to have survived German Bombing of London in World War 2 because Hitler desired it as the headquarters of the Nazi party in the U.K after a successful Operation Sea Lion. In any case, there was a noticeable absence of bombing in the immediate area.
  • Senate House served as inspiration for George Orwell in 1984. His 'Ministry of Truth' was based on it. Rather ironically it was taken over by the Ministry of Information in World War 2.

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Architect
Charles Holden
Developer
University of London
Main Contractor
Holland, Hannen & Cubitts

Reference Data

Reference No.
291
First Uploaded
19-02-2006
Last Editorial Date
27-09-2010
 

Building Location

Address
Mallet Street, Bloomsbury, London. WC1E 7HU
Council
Camden
County
London
Region
London
Country
United Kingdom

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Building Specification

Status
Complete
Proposal date
1931
Construction start date
1932
Completion date
1937
Heritage Status
Grade II*
Style
Art Deco

Roof Height (AGL)
64.00

Total Floors (O.G)
19

Market Data

Primary Use
University


Metres > Feet