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Grafton Architects wins contest for £100m LSE job

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Jane Drew Prize winners Grafton Architects has seen off a stellar list of architects to win the contest for the London School of Economics’ (LSE) new £100 million Paul Marshall Building

Working with engineers AKTII, the practice beat Amanda Levete’s AL_A, New York-based Diller Scofidio + Renfro with Penoyre & Prasad, David Chipperfield Architects, Herzog & de Meuron and a collaboration between Niall McLaughlin Architects and Scott Brownrigg.

Craig Calhoun, president of the LSE and chair of the jury panel, described Grafton’s victorious scheme for the site at 44 Lincoln’s Inn Fields as ’formal but fun’.

Director of estates and jury panel member Julian Robinson added: ’[The practice’s] design has the potential to provide LSE with a distinctive and seminal piece of university architecture, which expresses the values and aspirations of the school.

‘Combining modernity and tradition we felt it would enhance Lincoln’s Inn Fields and connect well with the rest of LSE. It’s an inspiring design and I look forward to working with Grafton and their team to deliver it.’

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

Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects

Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects

Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects

Shortlist in full (click here to see the designs)

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

In 2009 O’Donnell + Tuomey was selected to design the award-winning £24 million 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 £120 million 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.

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

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