The Queens’ Building is the historical heart of this great institution. It was the original People’s Palace back when Queen Mary was first opened.
Designed to bring education and culture to the local community, it once featured a concert hall (the Queen's Hall), a winter garden, library, swimming pool, gymnasium, tennis courts and the technical schools. Nowadays, it's home to a number of administrative offices, schools and teaching rooms. It’s also where students go for help and information with access to student support services such as advice and counselling, student finance and careers services.
The Queens' Building is also home to the elegant and unique Octagon. Built in 1887, and inspired by the Reading Room at the British Library, it was originally used as the Queen Mary Library. It spans over 23 metres in diameter, with two cast-iron galleries that encircle the entire building and rises to a height of over three storeys with an elegant central dome. Busts of Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dryden, Milton, Johnson, Wordsworth, Scott and Byron are complimented by plaques to Pindar, Homer, Virgil and others. This impressive space, with rich and beautiful acoustics is now used for a variety of student events, as well as a rehearsal and concert space.