UCL Laws celebrates 50 years of Bentham House

Friday 19 June 2015

On Tuesday 16 June, alumni, friends, staff and students came together to mark the Faculty’s fiftieth anniversary of its occupation of Bentham House and to celebrate the start of the next phase in the life of our much loved home.

This special event comes just weeks before the Faculty relocates to temporary accommodation as preparations begin for a major project to extend and refurbish the building.

Hosted by the Dean of the Faculty, Professor Dame Hazel Genn, the event invited alumni from all over the world back to Bentham House, and gave them the opportunity to explore the building and the plans for its redevelopment.

Beginning the evening with a drinks reception in the Keeton Room, guests were guided across the building to the Denys Holland Lecture Theatre for a presentation about the project from Professor Dame Hazel Genn and Matthew Goulcher, Managing Director of Levitt Bernstein Architects, who worked on the designs for the new Bentham House.

Also joining the proceedings was Professor Sir Ian Kennedy, a former Sub-Dean of the Faculty and UCL Laws alumnus, who entertained the audience with some – at times – rather risqué tales of the Bentham House of the 1960s.

Following the presentation, guests headed to the Cissy Chu Common Room to see the model of the new building, and with the help of student guides from the UCL Law Society, could visit the Garden Terrace on the first floor of Bentham House, and explore the rest of the building.

As well as celebrating the Faculty’s long-standing relationship with Bentham House, the event provided a valuable opportunity to show alumni and friends how the Faculty has changed over the years. Guiding the guests as a group from the Keeton Room across the building to the Denys Holland Lecture Theatre – a route that involves navigating narrow corridors and several flights of stairs – allowed guests to really experience the challenges that students and staff face in Bentham House everyday, highlighting the need for more and better quality space for our community.

The project to transform Bentham House will begin in August 2015 and is due to be completed by September 2017. During the works, the Faculty will be based in a nearby UCL building, Bidborough House.

Find out more about the project

Visit our Transforming Bentham House web pages

View a selection of photos from the event