London & South East

‘Striking’ new student centre takes shape

Construction is now well underway on a striking new modernist building situated in the historic heart of Westminster.

When complete in September 2013 the building will function as the London School of Economics Student Centre.

Speaking about the design of the building, Project Manager, Graham Potts said:

“When complete the building really will be an architectural masterpiece. The design space has already been awarded a BREEAM outstanding rating, which is quite unusual.

“I am also aware that Westminster City Council granted planning permission as the plans for the building were so architecturally special.”

When asked about the work that has gone into the project, Graham added:

“The new student centre really is pushing the boundaries of construction. It is a bespoke, technically very difficult building so we really are pushing to the limits of every contractor’s ability. We’re using traditional materials such as brickwork and timber but it is how they’re being used.

“The concrete frame of the structure is unbelievable, it leans out and leans in and is then clad in sloping brickwork which follows all the contours of the building. How everything meets and integrates is really quite something special.”

When complete the new student centre will house a nightclub, bar, student café, juice bar, roof terrace, career services and offices – all spread across eight storeys.

The site is located at the knuckle-point convergence of the network of narrow streets that characterise the LSE city centre campus

Inside the building open stairways spiral around the central lift shaft that forms a skewering pivot-point at the centre of gravity of the plan. These wide stairs with slow steps make a flowing continuous ribbon of movement from street to roof garden, a vertical building working as a single organism. Space flows freely in horizontal plan and vertical section creating a variety of diagonal break-out spaces at landings and crossings throughout the building.

The main contractors on the build are Geoffrey Osborne and the architects are Odonnel & Tuomey.

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