Our building transformed through the Sustainable Building Project

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It is with great satisfaction that the BSR can announce the completion of the Sustainable Building Project.  Several years of planning went into this project, and they have paid off; we have completed on time and under budget, and have even managed to include some additional works within the period.

The key aim was to provide a residence which was fit for purpose for its future, and we believe that the improvements have done just that.  As the Director’s Garden comes back to its former glory, we look forward to welcoming you back to the BSR.

This project would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors and donors and we gratefully acknowledge their help and generosity.

However, there are always new projects!  First, we were unable to include the refurbishment of the bedroom windows, and so we are now launching an appeal to address this.  Each window can be removed, retrofitted with double glazing and its shutters restored and repainted for £3000.  We already have three windows sponsored, and this is a brilliant opportunity to play your part in supporting the future of the BSR.  Every restored window will bear the name of its sponsor.  Please get in touch with Development Director Elizabeth Rabineau if you would like to know more.

Second, the Sustainable Building Project was just one part of our Second Century Campaign.  The first students entered the current BSR in 1916, and a century on the BSR has never looked better.  But it is essential that we find new support for the artists and scholars whose presence at the BSR is our key mission. So over the coming months, we will be rolling out a series of opportunities through which you can help the BSR to move confidently into its second century!

Christopher Smith (BSR Director)

Here is how the BSR looked roughly a century ago when the Residence was first being built (images courtesy of the BSR Photographic Archive).


The project would not have been possible without the generosity of the following trusts and foundations, and we gratefully acknowledge their support:







and those private individuals who contributed towards the project.


Climate change and sustainability: the UK and Expo Milano 2015

We were delighted to host the event ‘Climate change and sustainability: the UK and Expo Milano 2015‘ at the BSR on Thursday 15 October 2015. Our first speaker of the evening was Wolfgang Buttress, designer of the UK pavilion at Expo Milano 2015, whose design for the UK pavilion The Hive has recently been awarded ‘Best Pavilion Architecture’ at Expo Milano 2015.

Wolfgang Buttress

Wolfgang Buttress explains how the marriage of music and nature inspired his design for the UK pavilion ‘The Hive’ at Expo Milano 2015.

Our second speaker was Professor Lord Stern of Brentford, who gave a thought-provoking lecture on the ‘logic, urgency and promise of tackling climate change’. Following the event at the BSR, Lord Stern lectured in Florence on 16 October, and concluded his Italian tour by presiding over a roundtable discussion in Milan as part of the programme of events for this year’s Expo on the theme of Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.

Wolfgang Buttress + Lord Stern

Wolfgang Buttress, designer of the award-winning UK pavilion at Expo Milano 2015, and Professor Lord Stern of Brentford, I.G. Patel Professor of Economics and Government, Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at LSE, and President of the British Academy.

If you don’t have time to watch the whole lecture (see the top of this blog post), you can watch a short interview with Lord Stern before his lecture at the BSR, and see the PowerPoint presentation of Lord Stern’s lecture. There are more photographs from the event on the British Embassy’s Flickr page.

Lord Stern will be lecturing in the UK on 24 November as part of the British Academy Debates on ‘Energy and the Environment’. Follow @britac_news and #BigDebates on Twitter.

Images by Guido Petruccioli