IALS Transformation Project


2018 Future developments display panel at IALS

The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies occupies 8 floors of Charles Clore House, 17 Russell Square - part of the listed Grade II* Bedford Way building designed by Sir Denys Lasdun. The University of London has agreed to a multi-million pound refurbishment for the IALS building starting in July 2018. Additional necessary funding for the project will be sought through a fundraising campaign.

The building, its seminar rooms / lecture theatre and the main reading rooms of the Library will remain open during the two-year programme of works. There will be some noise and disruption and temporary arrangements for entry to the Library and for the Issue & Enquiry desk. More information on the scheduled programme of works (particularly work on floors 5, 4, 3 and 2) will be available shortly.

Transformation work in progress


The project will replace the infrastructure with new heating, cooling, ventilation, cabling and wifi. IALS Library will be completely refurbished and re-designed in the upcoming refurbishment. We will be able to offer a new 2nd floor entrance looking out on to Russell Square, 50 additional study desk places, bookable group study and training rooms, special needs room, 10 additional lockable library research carrels, new desk and chair furniture throughout the library, more control over our reading room heating and cooling, more self-issue laptops and improved IT services. A new dedicated study room outside the library on the 5th floor of the building will be created for IALS PhD students. This major project will take around two years but we will remain open throughout.


Internet Explorer users please click this link - A fly-through simulation of the IALS transformation project

Tasked with the refurbishment of an Institute with one of the world’s great legal research libraries, Burwell Deakins Architects has reconsidered all aspects of the building, including accessibility, technology, work and study environments, and the needs of visitors. The Library’s entrance will be relocated to the second floor to provide a more welcoming experience, with views over leafy Russell Square. The Library’s reading rooms will gain additional private study carrels and desks, and spacious group meeting rooms and visitor assistance areas will be added.

The key objectives of the Refurbishment Project

  • Enhance the entrance to the building
  • Enhance and improve the entrance to the Library
  • Provide flexible academic space throughout the building that caters for research centres and collaborative interaction between staff, fellows and student
  • Increase the number of reader workstations and study carrels in the Library
  • Add group study and other flexible spaces at the Library entrance level
  • Improve the building’s thermal stability and reduce its carbon footprint
  • Ensure that the building’s heating, cooling, and ventilation systems provide an optimal work and study environment for its users
  • Upgrade or replace all services installations that are either at or approaching the end of their lifecycle

IALS refurbishment project - street view lighting design

Page last updated: 12th November 2020