The largest public square in London, Lincoln’s Inn Fields was laid out in the 17th century under the initiative of the speculative builder and contractor William Newton.
The grounds, which had remained private property, were acquired by London County Council in 1895 and today they are managed by the London Borough of Camden.
LSE’s relationship with the site began a decade ago when the University first took ownership of 50 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, on the corner of Sardinia Street. The school’s Global Governance research centre is now based there.
Following on from this development, at the end of 2008 Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh officially opened a new £71 million state-of-the-art building housing the LSE’s Departments of Law and Management. Aside from the massive investment this move was also significant as it was the first time LSE has re-located one of its major academic departments to the actual frontage on the park.
The story continued when in 2009 the institution also took over ownership of Sardinia House and in 2010, the Land Registry Building on the Square.
In January this year LSE finally unveiled the redeveloped Land Registry Building at 32 Lincoln’s Inn Fields.
The building will be home to the Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE), the Centre for the Economics of Education (CEE), the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP), the Centre for Macroeconomics, the Department of Economics, the International Growth Centre (IGC), the Spatial Economics Research Centre (SERC) and the Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD).
The building will house 19 teaching rooms, 21 seminar rooms, two Harvard Lecture Theatres, a PhD study room, three PC study rooms and a 60 cover Café.
A lot of care has been taken by architects Jestico Whites and main contractors Wilmot Dixon to ensure that the historic features and character of the Grade ii listed building were preserved in the development.
Furthermore, in line with good practice, the design and operation of 32L will be the subject of a formal Post Occupancy Evaluation, when occupants and users will be asked for feedback. This will be undertaken during and after its first year of operation.
Speaking at the opening of the building in January, Andy Farrell, Director of Finance and Facilities at LSE said: “The School has invested £56m in this building, which is a vital part of LSE’s Strategic Plan to improve the teaching and research environment for students and staff alike.
“After just over two years of planning and building LSE will become only the second owner and occupier of this very fine listed building, originally built in 1903 for the Land Registry.
“Together with the Lionel Robbins Building and NAB we now have three buildings with real presence, able to project LSE to the wider world.”