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Planning approval for RSHP's contest-winning LSE scheme


Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners’ (RSHP) has won the go-ahead for a new £120 million Global Centre for Social Sciences at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Yesterday Westminster City Council approved the 19,621m² scheme which features a 13-storey landmark building and a seven storey ‘core extension’ to the existing St Clements building. 

RSHP saw off a raft of big names including Hopkins, Henehgan Peng, and Grafton to bag the job back in November 2013.

The project, on the university’s Aldwych campus, is close to O’Donnell and Tuomey’s student centre which was shortlisted for last year’s Stirling Prize.

Set to be a ‘seminal piece of university architecture’, the scheme includes the demolition and redevelopment of a number of existing buildings on Houghton Street and Clare Market.  

Ivan Harbour, senior partner at RSHP said: ‘The initial brief called for world-class architecture to match LSE’s international academic reputation. Our design goes further by placing a public square at the heart of the neighbourhood, creating a new focal point and improving connectivity and wayfinding throughout the university.

‘The building provides simple, flexible floor plans for a range of academic and department uses, allowing the creation of innovative and inspirational spaces that we hope will help LSE continue to attract the best staff, academics and students.’

Explaining why the original £90million budget had now risen to £120million, an LSE spokesperson said: ‘[This scheme] is the largest capital development project in [our] 120 year history. As with all building projects, details are subject to change as original designs are refined and logistics worked out.’

Demolition work is due to begin this summer with the building expected to be completed in late 2018.

RSHP's LSE scheme - section through atrium

RSHP’s LSE scheme - section through atrium



Readers' comments (2)

  • Just the job for us acrophobics!

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  • This will replace 'a number of existing buildings on Houghton Street and Clare Market' - and will obviously change the character of the urban fabric, so it would be interesting to see what's being lost, as well as what's being gained - whether the variety of buildings being demolished embody a richness of character that is more, or less, than that of the two new buildings apparently designed in matching style.
    Hopefully the new buildings and public square - and 'improved connectivity and wayfinding throughout the university' - add up to a substantial gain to the quality of the city, but with neither a site plan nor any illustration of the existing streetscapes it's impossible to tell, unless you go there.

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