We have teamed up with Grafton Architects to design a mixed-use building for the London School of Economics, situated on the former home of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund facility.
Mixed-use, eight-storey building on ‘tree-like’ columns for the London School of Economics
The nine-storey Marshall Building will include a double-height basement housing a multi-purpose sports hall, a grand hall public space on ground floor, a teaching and learning hub, research centre levels and a two-storey rooftop pavilion on the east side of the structure, housing the Paul Marshall Institute. Rooftop gardens and terraces are provided on multiple levels to create a tangible link with the outdoor environment and views across Lincoln’s Inn Fields and central London beyond.
The aim is to make much of the building’s structure simple, flexible and cost effective; much of the upper levels operate on simple, repetitive column grids with reinforced concrete slabs. Due to the shifting of uses in the lower floors of the building, particularly in the basement sports hall, increasingly larger spans are required.
A design-led approach resulted in tree-like column structures, allowing the grids to change from a 15.2 m grid on ground floor to 10.8 m on levels one and two, to a more regular grid of 7.6 m on the upper floors. The columns rotate on plan at two levels where the grid changes, enabling large column-free spaces at ground floor and basement. These tree-like formed structures are sculpted to follow the structural requirements, with deeper sections at the junction where the column meets the beam then tapering down to the tip where it supports the column grid above, thus negating the requirement for more traditional deep transfer beams.
Whilst the existing building is to be demolished, the existing basement retaining walls will be reused, with just an increase to its depth, allowing for the creation of the sports hall with a 7.5 m clearance.
2018 NLA Awards – Education