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Saw Swee Hock Student Centre (SAW)


Saw Swee Hock has been nominated and shortlisted ifor the City of Westminster - People's Choice Awards 2016.

Cast your vote before 30 June 2017 to help SAW win this award

Book launch 9th December 2015

2015-11-03_SawSwee_INVITE HiRes_Part1Julian Robinson, Director of Estates, decided that the journey travelled by all who were involved with the creation of this award winning building should be documented. A unique building justified a unique book.

The book Saw Swee Hock Student Centre: The Realisation of the London School of Economics Student Centre was sponsored by:

Capita (cost consultant)
Osborne (main contractor)
Turley Assoc. (planning consultants)
Turner + Townsned (project managers and employers agent)
and published by Artifice Books.  

The launch will take place this evening at a reception in SAW.

Official opening 24th October 2014

On Friday 24 October, LSE and the LSE Students’ Union celebrated the official opening of the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre.

There was a fantastic day of events, including debates, workshops, a special edition Gearty Grilling with a twist, celebrity guests, music, comedy, food and freebies. There was something for everyone to mark the official opening. 

Professor Craig Calhoun Director and President, hosted the opening ceremony from 5-6.30pm, which all staff and students were invited to attend.  SU General Secretary Nona Buckley-Irvine expressed how proud she is to have been part of this project and Professor Saw Swee Hock pronounced the building 'officially open'.  Guests were then treated to a spectacular visual presentation on the building and a drinks reception.

A brochure and video were produced to commemorate the opening.


If you have trouble viewing the ISSUU reader above, you can download the SAW Official Opening brochure (pdf)

RIBA Stirling Prize 2014 - vote now!

As many of you will be aware, SAW is in the running for the 2014 RIBA Stirling Prize. This prestigious prize is presented to the architects of the building that has made the greatest contribution to the evolution of architecture over the past year. 
To coincide with the run-up to the announcement of the prize, the BBC is running a series of online videos featuring each of the six buildings shortlisted, you can watch the interactive video of SAW here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-29498668
The BBC is also conducting a poll, which closes on Wednesday 15th October, inviting people to vote for their favourite building on the shortlist.
We would like to encourage as many people as possible to vote for our student centre, which has undoubtedly had a remarkable and positive impact on the LSE campus. You can cast your vote here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-29567764

The winner of the 2014 RIBA Stirling Prize will be announced live on BBC News Channel around 8.20pm on Thursday 16th October.

RIBA Regional Award Winner

At the prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects awards ceremony on 6th May 2014, SAW was awarded the RIBA London Building of the Year Award (pdf) and a RIBA Regional (London) Award, LSE Estates Division were also runners up for the RIBA Client of the Year award.  There were 64 schemes shortlisted, which included the Shard and the London Aquatics Centre - a stellar cast!   As winner of the RIBA Regional Award, SAW was first mid-listed, and subsequently shortlisted as one of the final 6 entries going head to head for architecture’s highest accolade,the RIBA Stirling Prize.  The winner will  announced in October 2014.

Winners of the AJ100 Client of the Year Award

Architects Journal survey the top 100 architectural practices each year.  As part of the survey they are asked to name the best client they have worked with during that year and the reasons why.  The LSE were nominated and awarded the Client of the Year Award at the  AJ100 Awards,  To find out more about the awards we have won and those we have been shortlisted for, visit the SAW Awards web page.

Post Occupancy Opinions

Following established practice in Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE), LSE Estates commissioned ZZA Responsive User Environments to conduct systematic research on the effectiveness of SAW for its range of users.  The September newsletter (PDF) contains a summary of the POE or you can view the full summary report (PDF)

LSE Estates also commissioned a series of Vox Pop interviews with LSE staff and students, to record their initial impressions of the building and the facilities within.  View the film by Rod McAllister and William Pine entitled Saw Swee Hock Student Centre: Reaction and Reflection

Positive comments (pdf) made by members of LSE Careers were documented by Director Jenny Blakesley in an email to Julian Robinson.

SAW in the news

Since opening its doors on 6 January 2014 the centre has steadily been garnering praise from students, staff and architecture critics alike. Read more...

Occupants' Guide

Saw Swee Hock Student Centre looking upSaw Swee Hock Student Centre (SAW) was officially handed over to the School on Wednesday 18th December 2013.

The building occupants arrived on Monday 6th January 2014.  See the Occupants' Guide [PDF]. for more detailed information about the building features and services.

The new state of the art gym is now 'up and running'.


Sheffield Street is a public highway owned by Westminster City Council (WCC).  The project to complete the pedestrianisation of Sheffield Street is being undertaken by WCC contractors.  The planned completion date for the works leading up to the entrance to SAW is April 2014 and the whole scheme completion is planned for July 2014.

Images and work-in-progress film

The live web cam was used to monitor the projects' progress as well as the photographs in the Gallery of Images and for our film which links photographs of works, see SAW Work in Progress film.

For monthly news updates please see Saw Swee Hock Student Centre News

The striking building design is by Irish architects O'Donnell & Tuomey, supported by an excellent design team which includes MEP consultants BDSP and structural engineers Horganlynch. The project team also includes project manager Turner and Townsend, and quantity surveyors Northcroft.

The LSE is seeking to transform the student social experience by building the best students' centre in the UK.  The site will become a student hub at the heart of LSE's campus and should add significant value to the student experience at LSE, the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre includes:

  • the Students' Union reception
  • the advice and representation centre
  • sabbatical and general manager's offices
  • internet café and large venue spaces
  • a pub
  • a media centre
  • a fitness centre including gym and dance studio
  • faith centre
  • the LSE accommodation, sales and marketing office
  • the LSE Careers Service

To take a virtual 'fly through' the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre please see below:

Download the video here. If you have problems with this then right click and choose 'save target as' or 'save link as'

View our film on the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre

LSE students Sophie Giscard D'estaing and Andrew Rajanathan are on a mission to find out why the School is building a new students centre in a short film on the New Students' Centre.

LSE Annual Fund Logo

The Saw Swee Hock Student Centre design competition and consultation process was kindly supported by the LSE Annual Fund. For more information on how you can make a difference to life at the School see LSE Annual Fund.