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Design competition 2005

Winner of the New Academic Building Architectural Competition Announced (2005)

The School has completed its assessment of the six architectural submissions and has chosen the proposal put forward by Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners.

Architects Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners Ltd are to transform LSE's £30 million plus new academic building into a landmark teaching and research space in the heart of London.

Six architectural firms were shortlisted to transform the 10,000 sq m former government building on Kingsway and Lincoln's Inn Fields into a world class space for students and staff. The latter had the opportunity, along with alumni and School governors, to view the proposals and vote on their favourite.

'The quality of the architectural competition was very high, and we received very positive feedback on all the designs from students and staff,' said Howard Davies, LSE Director. 'But Grimshaw were chosen because we felt they kept most closely but also most simply to the spirit and tenor of the brief. We now start work with them on the final design. Our aim is to have the building ready for students arriving in October 2008.'

Neven Sidor, director of Grimshaw, said: 'Our proposal works with the existing building but includes a series of subtle interventions that lift its presence on Lincoln's Inn Fields and communicate a 21st century ethos. We are also keen to create a true 'campus' atmosphere both in the forecourt and on the ground floor internally.'

The new building will contain three new lecture theatres, more than 30 classrooms and research facilities and academic offices on the upper floors. Plans include a cafe and outdoor seating area onto Lincoln's Inn Fields. Sustainability will be a key feature in the design and operation of the building.

Funding is being sought via alumni donations. LSE alumnus Stelios Haji-Ioannou, founder of the easyGroup of companies, has already pledged money for one teaching room, as part of a £2 million personal donation to the School for scholarships and facilities.

Howard Davies continued: 'One of LSE's greatest assets is its location in the centre of London. That location also presents the School its biggest challenge. But over the last 12 months we have made a number of important steps forward, and I think we can now see our way towards a much more exciting and higher quality campus in the future, and one which meets the rising aspirations of our student body.

'We completed the acquisition of 24 Kingsway in October 2004. It will, for the first time, give the School a frontage on to Lincoln's Inns Fields, which is an exciting opportunity for improving the look and feel of the campus as a whole. We are now engaged in detailed planning with Grimshaw of how that new building will be used, and indeed on how we can mobilise the support of our alumni community in particular, to ensure that we have the financial resources to develop it in an imaginative way. The redevelopment of the Library, re-designed with Foster and Partners, showed what can be done with good design and some external support. Our aim is to repeat the success of that project.'