Dublin-based O’Donnell + Tuomey has won planning approval for its competition-winning, £21.5 million students’ centre for the London School of Economics’ (LSE)
The practice saw off an impressive shortlist, which included David Chipperfield, 3XN and de Rijke Marsh Morgan to scoop the prize project in Aldwych in June 2009.
Approved by Westminster City Council, the seven storey centre will be the LSE’s first new building for more than 40 years and is set to open by Easter 2013.
The green light comes despite objections by the Victorian Society which has been battling to save the soon-to-be-demolished red-brick St Philips Medical Centre designed by AA Kekwich (1904) currently on the site.
The new centre will house the Students’ Union - including venue, pub, learning cafe, exercise studio, roof terrace coffee and juice bar, fitness centre, media centre, activities space, advice and representation centres, inter-faith prayer centre, marketing Office and LSE Careers’ Service.
Julian Robinson, director of estates, said: ‘The members of the City Planning and Development Committee at Westminster have demonstrated that they value quality architecture, have a clear vision for the development of their city and understand the role of LSE within this.
‘We, of course, had a massive advantage with architects O’Donnell and Tuomey, who never cease to surprise and delight me.’
He added: ‘The integrity of their design and the intelligence of their approach has meant they have been a pleasure to work with. These qualities shone through when they met the planners.’
Previous story (AJ 29.06.09)
O’Donnell + Tuomey lands LSE student centre contest
Dublin-based O’Donnell + Tuomey has beaten the likes of David Chipperfield and Danes 3XN to win the RIBA-run competition for the London School of Economics’ (LSE) new £21.5 million students’ centre
The practice also saw off Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris and de Rijke Marsh Morgan to scoop the prize project in Aldwych.
The decision mirrors the AJ’s online poll. More than 51 per cent of voters plumped for the O’Donnell + Tuomey scheme (entry F).