[Skip to Content]

Ground Floor

Smeaton Room

About the Smeaton Room

The Smeaton room is one of the largest function rooms at this magnificent Westminster event venue. It is on the ground floor behind the main reception desk and fronts onto Great George Street. This dual aspect impressive event space has high ceilings and the large windows allow in lots of natural daylight. The walls are covered with rich, dark, French walnut panelling and the ceilings are adorned with beautifully embellished plaster and lit by a large chandelier. The soft furnishings including curtains and carpets are well-appointed in reds, greens and golds which help create a warm, luxurious feel in the room.

There is space to hold up to 150 people theatre style or reception and up to 100 people for a sit-down dining event. The room has the added advantage of adjoining the Brunel room which in turn adjoins the Council room, allowing flexibility in how the space is used. A main meeting, conference or reception can take place in the Smeaton room whilst the Brunel and Council rooms provide suitable catering, and breakout rooms, or simply combining all three to accommodate a reception for 300.

The room was originally conceived in 1904 when the members of the Institution of Civil Engineers used it as a reading room. In those days it was furnished in London club-style large brown leather settees and chairs. It is named after John Smeaton, the founder of the Institution of Civil Engineers and considered by many to be the father of civil engineering. His portrait adorns one of the walls taking pride of place above a grand mantelpiece. Indeed his name, image and works appear throughout the building including his famous Eddystone Lighthouse in the Institution’s coat of arms.

Many notable and historic special events take place in the Smeaton room. One event of note was when it featured in the much acclaimed film Gandhi, starting Ben Kingsley.

Key Features

  • Licenced for Civil marriage ceremonies and civil partnerships
  • Full wheelchair accessibility, guide dogs allowed
  • Central air conditioning
  • Space allows for bespoke stage sets to be created and built
  • Natural daylight
  • Connectivity to high specification Tandberg video-conferencing
  • Hard-wired interconnectivity between all meeting rooms for video, audio and data
  • Complimentary superfast Wi-Fi
  • Dedicated bandwidths and static IP addresses also available
  • Other Audio Visual services available on request


Length 20.42 m
Width 8.46 m
Height 4.82 m
Height under chandelier 2.62 m
Area 172.75 sq m


Boardroom style 60
Theatre style 150
Classroom style 60
Stand up buffet / reception 150
Seated lunch / dinner / ´╗┐cabaret*´╗┐ 100
Seated buffet 90

Lighting (Natural Daylight)

Chandeliers 1
Fixed downlights 49
Light switch in room Yes
Dimmers Yes

Power and Communications

Number of 13 amp sockets 3 phase (100amps per phase) 22
Telephone points Yes
Wireless and wired broadband internet access Yes

Main Access (Double Doors)

Door width 1.50 m
Door height 2.44 m

* Based on 6' rounds of 10
In cabaret style some people will have backs to the screen