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Extra! Extra! A&M rejigs LCP

Allies and Morrison has unveiled a major redesign of the London College of Printing at the Elephant and Castle, one of the first major regeneration projects in the run-down area.

The practice plans to build a new wedgeshaped 6100m 2teaching building (inset) on the site while creating a new covered 'street' between the three existing London County Council-designed buildings. This will act as a new entrance and give more circulation space for students between the buildings. But the most striking part of the scheme is the 100m long steel-clad armature - pictured above and model, right - which runs the full length of the street and then turns at right angles to create an entrance. Allies and Morrison director Paul Appleton said that the idea has been developed from one submitted to the South Bank Centre as part of its 1994 masterplan competition.

'It is a similar problem to link and reconfigure a group of problematic buildings of that period [1950s and 1960s], 'Appleton said. He added that the armature, which will be a monocoque structure built from steel plate, is similar to an Anthony Caro sculpture. It will also hold signage and lighting.

The college teaches journalism and other media subjects and the classroom extension will allow it to move out of its Clerkenwell premises and locate all its students on a single campus. The new teaching block will contain a TV studio and post-production facilities alongside a bank of interconnecting photographic studios. Allies and Morrison will also refurbish the existing buildings and has already carried out experimental changes to some interiors.

Appleton said that detailed planning permission on the new building has been granted while permission for the 'street' is currently being considered. Work will start in May 2001 and finish in June 2002, in time for the new academic year.

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