RUSI Whitehall Dome

Installing a contemporary glass half-dome atop an iconic London building

The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) is an independent security and defence think tank with headquarters at 61 Whitehall. Built in 1896, this Grade II* listed building needed modernisation. Renovations included installing a glass half-dome on the original roof terrace to create additional meeting space and offer sweeping views over Whitehall.

The half-dome is relatively flat, measuring 12.5 meters wide and 4 meters high, with a zinc-finished capstone. The stainless steel structure consists of 15 custom-made curved beams connected with horizontal transoms. It is topped with 70 double-glass panels that can be individually adjusted from completely transparent to almost opaque.

This system is integrated into the laminated glass, with the wiring concealed in the joints between glass panels and beneath the sealant seams. In addition to louvres in the dome’s lower ring, some of the glass panels can be opened to provide natural ventilation, reducing the need for air conditioning.

Interface were involved from Stage 3 Development Design through to Stage 5 Construction.

After three years of redevelopment work the building was officially opened in October 2023 by HRH The Duke of Kent.

“This renovation is about bringing our landmark building into the 21st century and the new dome will play a huge part in that.”

Deborah Pourkarimi

Chief Operating Officer, RUSI

Client: RUSI (Royal United Services Institute) | Architect: Campbell Architects | Main Contractor: Coniston | Cladding Contractor: Octatube | Glass Supplier: Eyrise