Brunei Gallery

SOAS, University of London

The Centre for Islamic Art (including the Brunei Gallery) was made possible by a benefaction from the Sultan of Brunei. The teaching building contains a 300-seat lecture theatre, with cafe and seminar rooms forming a high-quality conference centre, teaching spaces and offices. The gallery building has spaces for a small permanent exhibition as well as larger visiting exhibitions, and a rooftop garden.

The building occupies a very sensitive site in the north-west corner of Russell Square. Car-parking was removed to create a tree-lined public space which acts as an outdoor focus for the School of Oriental and African Studies and a busy pedestrian thoroughfare.

Throughout the building, extensive use has been made of fair-faced concrete, combined in the galleries with oak, stone and etched glass. 

The Centre for Islamic Arts creates a new sense of identity in the university, and sets a standard of building and place-making which that organisation has been desperately needed for many years.
Architectural Review

A gallery for London

The Brunei Gallery is an exciting venue in central London that hosts a programme of changing contemporary and historical exhibitions from Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The Gallery's aim is to present and promote cultures from these regions and to be a student resource and public facility.

Part of Museum Mile, the Brunei Gallery is located opposite the main entrance to SOAS.  In addition to the creation of new accommodation for the Gallery and its associated teaching facilities, the closure of Thornaugh Street enabled the creation of a significant civic space benefitting SOAS, the University and the pedestrian public.


  • Winner: Civic Trust Award
  • Winner: Camden Environmental Design Award
  • Shortlisted: RIBA Award