London School Of Economics student centre

London / United Kingdom / 2013

55
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The brief was to bring student facilities together under one roof. The multi-functional building includes a venue, pub, learning café, media, prayer, offices, gym, careers, dance studio and social spaces. The brief asked for the “best student building in the UK” and had the aspiration for BREEAM Excellent rating. The design achieved BREEAM Outstanding.

Planning Constraints
The site lies within the Strand Conservation Area. The context was complex and the site was restricted by surrounding building lines. Specifications were closely monitored by Westminster planners, who supported the ambition for a contemporary design integrated with its setting. Throughout the building process, the planners maintained a commitment to the enduring quality of carefully crafted construction.

Street Life
The site is located at the knuckle-point convergence of narrow streets that characterise the LSE city centre campus. The faceted façade operates with respect to the Rights of Light Envelope and is tailored to lines of sight, to be viewed from street corner perspectives and to make visual connections between internal and external circulation. The brick skin is cut along fold lines to form large areas of glazing, framing views. Analysis of the context has influenced the first principles of a site specific architectural design.

Embodiment
The building is designed to embody the dynamic character of a contemporary Student Centre. The complex geometries of the site provided a starting point for a lively arrangement of irregular floor plates, each particular to its function. Space flows freely in plan and section, with stairs turning to create meeting places at every level.

Construction, Colour and Atmosphere
London is a city of bricks. The building is clad with bricks, with each brick offset from the next in an open work pattern, creating dappled daylight inside and glowing like a lattice lantern at night.
The building has the robust adaptability of a lived-in warehouse, with solid wooden floors underfoot. The structure is a combination of reinforced concrete and steelwork. Steel trusses or ribbed concrete slabs span the big spaces. Circular steel columns prop office floors between the large span volumes and punctuate the open floor plan of the café. Concrete ceilings contribute thermal mass with acoustic clouds suspended to soften the sound. There are no closed-in corridors. Every hallway has daylight and views in at least one direction. Every office workspace has views to the outside world. The basement venue is daylit from clerestory windows.

Inclusive Design
The building is designed with accessibility and inclusive design as key considerations. Approaches are step free. Floor plates are flat without steps. Circulation routes are open and legible with clearly identifiable way-finding. Services are located at consistent locations. The central wide stair was carefully designed to comply with standards and details agreed with the approved inspector.

International Competition Winner June 2009
Completed December 2013
Works currently underway on pedestrian street landscape, due for completion June 2014



Client: London School of Economics and Political Science, Estates Division.

Architect: O’Donnell+Tuomey Architects
(O’Donnell+Tuomey Architects, 20A Camden Row, Dublin 8, Ireland. t: +353 (0)1 475 2500. e: [email protected])

(John Tuomey + Sheila O’Donnell (Directors), Willie Carey(Associate), Geoff Brouder(Project Architect), Laura Harty, Kirstie Smeaton, Gary Watkin, Anne-Louise Duignan, Ciara Reddy, Jitka Leonard, Iseult O’Cleary, Henrik Wolterstorff, Mark Grehan, Monika Hinz)

Executive Architect: O’Donnell+Tuomey Architects

Structural Engineer: Dewhurst Macfarlane and Partners / Horganlynch Consulting Engineers

Services + Environmental Engineer: BDSP

Security / Fire / Acoustics / Transport & Logistics / Venue: Arup

Catering:Tricon Foodservice Consultants

Access:David Bonnett Associates

Archaeology: Gifford

Project Manager: Turner & Townsend

Quantity Surveyor: Northcroft

Planning Consultant: Turley Associates

Party Wall Consultant: Anstey Horne

Building Control Consultant: Carillion

CDM Coordinator: Gardiner & Theobald

Main Contractor (D&B): Geoffrey Osborne Limited
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    The brief was to bring student facilities together under one roof. The multi-functional building includes a venue, pub, learning café, media, prayer, offices, gym, careers, dance studio and social spaces. The brief asked for the “best student building in the UK” and had the aspiration for BREEAM Excellent rating. The design achieved BREEAM Outstanding.Planning ConstraintsThe site lies within the Strand Conservation Area. The context was complex and the site was restricted by surrounding...

    Project details
    • Year 2013
    • Work started in 2011
    • Work finished in 2013
    • Main structure Masonry
    • Client London School of Economics
    • Cost 30000
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Colleges & Universities
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