The London School of Economics (LSE) has revealed designs from the five architects shortlisted for its next major building project; the £90m Global Centre for Social Sciences (GCSS). This international competition, run in conjunction with the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects), follows the School’s new Students’ Centre which is nearing completion where architects O’Donnell Tuomey were also selected via an RIBA competition in 2009.
Involving the demolition and redevelopment of a number of existing buildings on its Aldwych campus, the brief for the GCSS calls for world class architecture so that its estate is comparable with its international academic reputation.
As part of the decision making process, a public exhibition of the five schemes is being held in the LSE Library from 7–18 October. Staff, students and visitors are able to vote for their favourite scheme – although the identity of each architect is anonymous. Further information and a copy of all the exhibition material is available via www.lse.ac.uk/gcsscompetition
Julian Robinson, LSE’s Director of Estates said: “We believe we do design competitions well; mid-term design workshops with each of the teams helped to ensure they understood the brief and didn’t waste time and effort on tangential issues. The LSE does not have easy projects and always sets tough design challenges, as a result the amount of analysis and intellectual effort that has gone into the designs is staggering. The teams have done a remarkable job in the time available”
“This will be the School’s biggest ever building project and will transform the heart of our campus. Given its scale it will be a landmark building and its legacy will endure for many generations of LSE students so it is vital that we make the right decision.”
In late October the teams will make a presentation to a Jury Panel chaired by Professor Craig Calhoun, Director of the LSE, with an announcement on the winning team due from the School in early November.