LSE Centre Building
As part of the major redevelopment of LSE’s central London campus, we are delivering a new tiered structure with 13-storey tower to serve as a hub for the university’s Social Sciences departments, providing a balanced mixture of public amenities, departmental space and teaching facilities.
The first stage of development will involve the demolition of four disparate existing buildings, all constructed during different time periods, yet interconnected and with different basement levels. Construction materials will vary, and surveys will need to be undertaken to confirm initial assumptions.
In terms of constraints, a plethora of subterranean services have been carefully considered, and mapped onto plans throughout the design process, to ensure there are no clashes with the new proposals. A large 4 m sewer cuts across the new basement, and our suggestion for a divestment have been accepted by Thames Water. The site’s location in a historical central area means there is some chance of archaeological remains and unexploded ordnance, and the buildings are all likely to contain asbestos; all the relevant surveys have been undertaken.
The new structure will be split into three sections: the 2-storey Amenities Block, the 5-storey Houghton Street Block, and the 13-storey Tower Block. In all three, the superstructure will comprise steel frames with 6 m by 9 m grids, and concrete plank flooring. The structure is pushed to the perimeter edge to expose the columns, maximising internal floor area.
Additional steel bracing will be featured at either end of each of the 5- and 13-storey blocks, allowing us to minimise the thickness of the main core walls. In the tower block a feature steel staircase will create a series of double height spaces diagonally throughout the building. Double-layered façades incorporate an inner layer to regulate the buildings’ thermal performance, with an external system of fins controls solar exposure.
A mixed-use landmark building for the social sciences departments' new public plaza at LSE’s campus at Aldwych
London School of Economics
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners