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Allies and Morrison wins refurb job for 'grim' LCP tower

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Allies and Morrison has won a competition to extend and refurbish the London College of Printing.

The architect will improve circulation, the entrance foyer and re-clad some of the main frontage, a tower block on the busy Elephant and Castle roundabout. Graham Morrison said it was important to soften the impact of the building on a hostile site. Inside the 1964 building by lcc architects is a 'warren' of circulation in need of coherence. An extension of sloping black windows 'in the style of Pimlico school' (according to Pevsner) was added to the two blocks of four and 14 storeys in 1973.

Despite appearances, much of the architecture was good and the designers would keep as much as possible, said Morrison. The tower will remain and a new teaching block will be built on the site, said the college administrator.

Morrison said: 'The danger is to look at what's there and say it is grim, but there is a lot of well-considered and good architecture. We must be a positive critic and look for the good that's there.'

The client, the London Institute client is firming up construction time scales and costs. 'It could be a lot of money or very little, but we would always aim to spend as little as possible,' said Morrison.

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