History of business at King's
King’s Business School was previously known as the School of Management & Business, and traces its origins back to the 1980s. The School achieved Departmental status in 1994, and was established as the School of Management & Business in 2015. The School is now one of the largest providers of undergraduate management teaching in London, as well as having a thriving postgraduate community, with over 800 students registered on Masters degrees and a growing number of research students. There are currently around 90 academic members of staff.
A new home at Bush House
King’s College London's move into Bush House will tie the university’s international reputation and aspirations with a building that eloquently expresses Britain’s global history and connections, both with other English-speaking peoples and with other countries throughout the world.
Built by American businessman Irving T Bush and designed by US architect Harvey W Corbett in 1919, its original function was to be an international trade centre with exhibition galleries, shops, conference rooms, reference libraries, a small theatre, badminton court, cinema, swimming-pool, club and restaurant. Bush House has a 100-foot tall arch facing north, up Kingsway, crowned by a sculpture of figures of Britain and America united in friendship, and a famous inscription over the doorway, ‘To the friendship of the English Speaking Peoples’.
In 1929 Bush House was declared ‘the most expensive building in the world’, reflecting its construction cost of some $10 million (£2 million). The full complex of buildings in the centre of the Aldwych was completed in 1935.
In 1941 Bush House became the home of the BBC World Service, the world’s largest international broadcaster. Communicating at one point in over 40 languages with over 200 million listeners all round the world, the World Service has been described as ‘a sort of United Nations of broadcasting’. It has represented the voice of Great Britain abroad and provided a sometimes-crucial source of balanced information to people in countries under censorship of different kinds.
Among the famous broadcasts from the building are some of those of General De Gaulle to the Free French and speeches of Winston Churchill during World War 2; talks by George Orwell (Eric Blair) who was a producer with the BBC Eastern Service between 1941 and 1943, and Paul McCartney interviewed live on the Russian Service during the Cold War.
Many areas of the building are Grade II listed. Other previous owners of Bush House include the Church of Wales and the Post Office Superannuation Fund.