“Nakatomi space, wherein buildings reveal near-infinite interiors, capable of being traversed through all manner of non-architectural means”.
Exploring the Nakatomi space within the brutalist SOAS library and UCL’s Institute of Education at Bedford way. Much of the university campus here is connected via service tunnels, which run utilities between buildings from centralized plant rooms.
At points these tunnels vent to the surface through large concrete vents, one of which caught my attention in offering a potential access point to the tunnels. Unfortunately the drop into the vent was about 15ft, slightly too high to jump into, and with no way of getting back out.
Fast forward many months and armed with 5 meters of trusty rope and ample torches myself and fellow UCL adventurers ventured into the darkness. The rope was rigged onto a suitable anchor and footloops were tied in order to descend.
After a few turns we came accross this massive flooded chamber beneath the building, to what purpose it serves is a mystery! At this point I had to ditch my shoes and continue barefoot in the freezing water, which was numbingly cold.
The bottom of the flooded pit was covered in bizzare crystals (hopefully non toxic), from many decades of mineral/chemical build up.
At the end of this chamber a mini door led into one of the large plant rooms which powers and heats the Institute of Education.
A small utility tunnel containing high voltage cables and various air ducts for one of the basement auditoriums.
A large belt mechanism which powers some form of antiquated mechanical ventilation system.
A logbook dating back to the 1970’s
Cute mini doors seperated each section of the network
Footprints of the intruders in a more high tech machine room.
There are many other subterranean tunnels beneath SOAS, UCL and Senate House, hopefully one day we will get to explore those too.