The London School of Economics and Political Science has unveiled the six shortlisted designs for its new £120million university building on Lincoln’s Inn Fields.
In February, the LSE named Alison Brooks Architects, David Chipperfield Architects, John McAslan & Partners, Hall McKnight, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and a joint bid by Dorte Mandrup of Denmark with John Robertson Architects as finalists in its design competition.
This week the college showcased shortlisted team proposals for 35 Lincoln’s Inn Fields – which is the former base of the Royal College of Surgeons – in its Marshall Building, designed by Grafton Architects.
The LSE brief was for a new 12,540 m² university building, which will house conference facilities, continuing education, a data science institute and associated academic departments, as well as the Firoz Lalji Africa Institute. The project is also set to be LSE’s first net zero carbon building.
Shortlisted teams are due to present their proposals to the project jury later this month. The panel includes Director of LSE Estates Julian Robinson, former LSE student and project benefactor Firoz Lalji, LSE Professor Ricky Burdett and Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects.
Launching the RIBA competition in December, Robinson warned that 35 Lincoln’s Inn Fields would likely be the university’s last major commission for the foreseeable future and “must be an exceptional piece of architecture, further enhancing the reputation and the LSE brand”.
Alison Brooks’ proposals were created in partnership with Nigerian firm Studio Contra; David Chipperfield Architects worked with Feix & Merlin Architects, based in southeast London; and the proposals by John McAslan & Partners were created in collaboration with the American firm Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects and the Marina Tabassum of Bangladesh.
Belfast-based Hall McKnight’s proposals were created entirely in-house, while Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios worked with Danish firm Lendager on its bid.
The proposals – which are presented without the names of the firms that designed them – are on display in the Great Hall of the LSE’s Marshall Building until May 20. The LSE also provided display boards here.
On Wednesday this week, representatives from each architectural team will be on hand to answer questions from the public about the proposals between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
The site and retention
35 Lincoln’s Inn Fields was occupied by the Royal College of Surgeons until the LSE purchased it, giving it ownership of most of the south side of the historic square.
The university said its architectural advisers concluded there were two possible strategies for redeveloping 35 LIFs.
One suggests keeping part of the central structure of the building to save embodied carbon. But that will have to be weighed against the brief efficiency and floor space requirements, he said.
The second envisions demolition at street level while preserving most basements if technically feasible.