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AJ exclusive: three women-led firms make shortlist for £100m LSE job

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Six leading architects are vying for the London School of Economics (LSE) new £100 million Paul Marshall Building at 44 Lincoln’s Inn Fields

Chosen from 87 entries, the shortlist features three practices led by women: Amanda Levete’s  AL_A; 2015 Jane Drew Prize winners Grafton Architects; and New York-based Diller Scofidio + Renfro with Penoyre & Prasad.

They are joined by David Chipperfield Architects, Herzog & de Meuron Architects and a collaboration between 2015 Stirling Prize finalist Niall McLaughlin Architects and Scott Brownrigg.

The contest is the third major RIBA-backed competition run by the LSE for landmark schemes on its Aldwych campus.

Shortlist in full

  • AL_A, London
  • David Chipperfield Architects, London
  • Diller Scofidio + Renfro with Penoyre & Prasad, New York & London
  • Grafton Architects, Dublin, Ireland
  • Herzog & de Meuron Architects, Basel, Switzerland & London
  • Niall McLaughlin Architects + Scott Brownrigg, London

In 2009 O’Donnell + Tuomey was selected to design the award-winning £24.1million Saw Swee Hock student centre (see bottom) and in 2013 Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners saw off Grafton Architects, Heneghan Peng, Hopkins Architects and OMA to land commission for the LSE’s new £120million Global Centre for Social Sciences.

The proposed Paul Marshall Building, named after a major benefactor of the LSE, will replace 44 Lincoln’s Inn Fields – an eight-storey post war office complex purchased by the university two years ago.

The scheme will house ‘innovative and adaptable teaching and research workspaces… combining the best of old and new methods of student centred learning and academic enquiry’.

Julian Robinson, LSE’s Director of Estates said: ‘This was the hardest [contest to judge] yet. We have tried to pick a stimulating shortlist which will produce a range of different design responses to this extraordinary site.  What an opportunity? We can’t wait to start the design dialogue.

The competition brief will be issued to the teams in January 2016, so the practices ‘cannot work over Christmas’.

All the shortlisted teams will be paid an honorarium of £15,000. 

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