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.
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.’
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.
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.
Architect: O’Donnell Tuomey
Photographer: Stephen Varady
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