London: London School of Economics Student Centre (UK)

London School of Economics Student Centre

1 Portugal St, London WC2A 2AP, UK

O’Donnell and Tuomey (2009-14)

LSE Student Centre by O'Donnell Tuomey 03_Stephen Varady Photo ©

Just a short 5-minute stroll from The Sir John Soane Museum, across Lincoln Inn Fields, is the London School of Economics Student Services Building by O’Donnell Tuomey. Winning a competition in 2009 against some serious players, the building was completed in 2014. Their design concept takes the multiple intersecting access lanes and sight-lines around this corner site to create a triangulated contemporary composition, that fits very cleverly into its urban location.

LSE Student Centre by O'Donnell Tuomey_location plan

The architects state: ‘Like a Japanese puzzle, our design is carefully assembled to make one coherent volume from a complex set of interdependent component parts.  Our analysis of the context has uniquely influenced the first principles of the design approach.’

LSE Student Centre by O'Donnell Tuomey 02_Stephen Varady Photo ©

LSE Student Centre by O'Donnell Tuomey 04_Stephen Varady Photo ©

LSE Student Centre by O'Donnell Tuomey 08_Stephen Varady Photo ©

LSE Student Centre by O'Donnell Tuomey 10_Stephen Varady Photo ©

LSE Student Centre by O'Donnell Tuomey_brick detail

The design incorporates a range of specially fabricated bricks to create the impressive, faceted façade. The building’s name – ‘Saw Swee Hock Student Centre’ – is also etched into a stone façade at street level.

LSE Student Centre by O'Donnell Tuomey 12_Stephen Varady Photo ©

LSE Student Centre by O'Donnell Tuomey 11_Stephen Varady Photo ©

LSE Student Centre by O'Donnell Tuomey 19_Stephen Varady Photo ©

LSE Student Centre by O'Donnell Tuomey 21_Stephen Varady Photo ©

LSE Student Centre by O'Donnell Tuomey 22_Stephen Varady Photo ©

LSE Student Centre by O'Donnell Tuomey 23_Stephen Varady Photo ©

The building houses the LSE Student Services – including a large music venue, pub, learning cafe, union offices, prayer centre, dance studio, careers library and gym – and is designed as a circulation pattern, where a wonderfully coloured, multi-faceted sculptural stair winds around a lift core, with a variety of gathering spaces and seats along the journey, and the required facilities and offices appropriately located at each level.

LSE Student Centre by O'Donnell Tuomey_perspective

LSE Student Centre by O'Donnell Tuomey 25_Stephen Varady Photo ©

LSE Student Centre by O'Donnell Tuomey 32_Stephen Varady Photo ©

LSE Student Centre by O'Donnell Tuomey 33_Stephen Varady Photo ©

LSE Student Centre by O'Donnell Tuomey 37_Stephen Varady Photo ©

LSE Student Centre by O'Donnell Tuomey 38_Stephen Varady Photo ©

LSE Student Centre by O'Donnell Tuomey 44_Stephen Varady Photo ©

LSE Student Centre by O'Donnell Tuomey 45_Stephen Varady Photo ©

LSE Student Centre by O'Donnell Tuomey 47_Stephen Varady Photo ©

LSE Student Centre by O'Donnell Tuomey 48_Stephen Varady Photo ©

LSE Student Centre by O'Donnell Tuomey 49_Stephen Varady Photo ©

LSE Student Centre by O'Donnell Tuomey 51_Stephen Varady Photo ©

LSE Student Centre by O'Donnell Tuomey_model

LSE Student Centre by O'Donnell Tuomey_sketch

 

Further Information:

Place: London School of Economics Student Centre

Architect: O’Donnell Tuomey

Photographer: Stephen Varady

Reviews: The Guardian – Rowan Moore (16 Feb 2014) and Divisare (20 Feb 2014) and Dezeen (12 Feb 2014) and Arch Daily (14 Oct 2014) and Archiseek (30 June 2009) and GA Document 128

Map: London School of Economics Student Centre Map

 

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