Asia House

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For the building on Princess Street, Manchester, see Asia House, Manchester.
For the German-based NGO, see Asia House (Essen).
Asia House
Founded 1996 (1996)
Founder Sir Peter Wakefield
  • 63 New Cavendish Street, London, United Kingdom
Coordinates 51°31′10″N 0°08′46″W / 51.51958°N 0.14625°W / 51.51958; -0.14625
Key people
Michael Lawrence
John Boyd (ambassador)
Mission Build dynamic links between the diverse communities of Europe and Asia

Asia House, is a non-profit, non-political Pan-Asian organisation in the UK. It was founded in 1996 by a small group led by Sir Peter Wakefield,[1] a former diplomat who died aged 89 in December 2010.[2] The current CEO is Michael Lawrence and the Chairman is John Boyd (ambassador).

Since 2005 Asia House has been housed in an 18th-century listed building in London's Marylebone.


The publicly stated mission of Asia House is to build dynamic links between the diverse communities of Europe and Asia. The organisation seeks to achieve this by promoting a greater understanding of the distinctive and varied cultures, arts, religions and commercial opportunities presented by the growing vibrant economies of Asia.[3]

Asia House runs public events programmes covering arts and culture, business and economics and policy and politics covering 40 countries form the Persian Gulf to the Pacific. Highlights of the annual programme include the Pan-Asia Film Festival in March, the Festival of Asian Literature in May and the Asian Business Leaders Summit in October. Historical and Contemporary art from Asia is displayed in a varied exhibitions programme running throughout the year.[4]

Cultural Programmes[edit]

Asia House Cultural Programmes feature lectures and discussion, exhibitions, film and performance, from or about 40 countries of Asia from the Persian Gulf to the Pacific annual events such as the Asia House Festival of Asian Literature,[5] the Asia House Pan-Asia Film Festival,[6] the Connecting Contemporary Cultures series,[7] and a broad program of talks, debates and discussions.

Business and Policy Programmes[edit]

The Asia House Business and Policy Programmes include outstanding business intelligence through lectures, seminars and major conferences delivered by high-profile business and political leaders. Asia House works with Asian heads of mission in the UK, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, UK Trade & Investment and UK corporations.

Examples of its activities are the Ambassadors/High Commissioners programme through which Asia House provides a forum for regular economic and political updates from British and foreign diplomats through informal breakfasts and luncheons, the Visiting Dignitaries programme, offering a platform for Asian leaders and other high-level ministers to deliver their latest economic and political messages,[8] and a "CEO round table" program, which provides a forum for debate and policy review at a senior level by hosting round-table discussions with speakers including UK government ministers and other international figures.


Asia House's headquarters at 63 New Cavendish Street, London is a Grade II* listed building, originally planned by Robert and James Adam on the Duke of Portland’s Marylebone Estate in the 1770s. By 1775, however, the Adams’ attention had turned to the creation of Portland Place, and neo-classical architect John Johnson took over the site, erecting the townhouse that has since been redeveloped as Asia House. The rooms retain many of their original features – including bookcases designed by Sir John Soane and plaster cornicing – while other parts of the building have been modernised to create café and gallery spaces.

In November 2010, Asia House expanded its mission to fully embrace the reemergent Silk Road region as a landbridge between Asia and Europe with the launch at the House of Lords of the Central Asia and South Caucasus Association (CASCA). The new association will expand and amplify Asia House's business and cultural programmes to include Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan), the Southern Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia) as well as Mongolia, a region broadly defined in prior centuries as Inner Asia.

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 2005, Asia House received the Charity Finance Award for Arts, Culture & Heritage.[9]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ PERSONALITY PROFILE - Peter Wakefield, Japan Times April 23, 2000
  2. ^
  3. ^ About Asia House -
  4. ^ Asia House - Exhibitions
  5. ^ Michael Binyon looks forward to the second Festival of Asian Literature - Times Online, April 25, 2008
  6. ^ ref>Preview: Festival Of Asian Film, Asia House, London The Independent, 20 August 2008
  7. ^ Kestity Pringgoharjono: A role model for arts patrons, Jakarta Post, 20 August 2008
  8. ^ G20: the schedule of events, Times Online, March 26, 2009
  9. ^ [1]

Coordinates: 51°31′11″N 0°08′46″W / 51.5196°N 0.1462°W / 51.5196; -0.1462