SAW in the News

The Saw Swee Hock Student Centre (SAW), LSE’s latest landmark building, has transformed the campus, with the Students’ Union and student-focused departments of the School taking up residence at the start of the year.

The first new building LSE has commissioned in over 40 years, SAW's dramatic sculptural form and unusual perforated brick façade was designed by Irish architect O’Donnell + Tuomey. Since opening its doors on 6 January 2014 it has steadily been garnering praise from students, staff and architecture critics alike.

Critics have called the building “richly considered and finished”, “eccentric and deeply satisfying”, “fantastically individual” and “a fold-out marvel [and] lesson in architectural origami”. To read more, see below:


Architects' Journal, 4 November 2016

Westminster Council announces ‘People’s Choice’ architecture award at AJ100 club

(March 2017 - SAW is shortlisted, vote here before 30 June 2017)


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Architects' Journal, 10 March 2016

Competitions (pdf)



New London Quarterly, Spring 2016

Coffee break with Michael Lowndes (pdf)


2015 Designing Ireland snapshot

Designing Ireland, November 2015

Designing Ireland: Episode 4 'Design Thinking’ - © Newgrange Pictures 2015



The Times II, 17 November 2015

Barely room to swing a stolen traffic cone - Halls of residence, Why are students being routinely failed?(pdf) 



Architects' Journal, 13 November 2015

University Challenge - how do we ensure we are designing quality buildings? (pdf)


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Architects' Journal, 5 June 2015

AJ120 Analysis and data - most inspiring architects and buidings (pdf)


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Architects' Journal, 15 May 2015

News in Pictures (pdf)



Building Magazine, 1 May 2015

The Stars of the Show (pdf)





World Architecture News, 12 January 2015

How cool is my campus? (pdf) by Gail Taylor



The Telegraph, 13 December 2014

University challenge (pdf) by Ellis Woodman



The Observer, 7 December 2014

Five most inspiring buildings (pdf) by Rowan Moore



RIBA Journal, 13 November 2014

Brick Award Winners (pdf)

The LSE's student centre, with its high level of ambition and sophistication, was the clear Supreme winner for the judge.




London Live, 16 October 2014

The UK's most prestigious award for architecture, the Riba Stirling Prize, will be decided by a panel of experts later this week.  Here's a short film on each of the three shortlisted London projects.



Building, 17 October 2014

The bookies' favourite (pdf)



Architects Journal, 14 October, 2014

Punters backing O'Donnell + Tuomey to win RIBA Stirling Prize (pdf)

...William Hill has revealed that O’Donnell + Tuomey Architects’ student centre at the LSE has been the most heavily backed to win this year’s RIBA Stirling Prize...



BBC News Magazine (pdf), October 2014

Which Riba Stirling Prize 2014 building is your favourite? (link to short film of SAW)

The UK's most prestigious prize for new buildings, the Riba Stirling Prize, will be awarded on 16 October. BBC News Online, in partnership with Riba, is taking a look at each of the contenders for the prize.



Architects Journal, 10 October 2014

Stirling Prize 2014 (pdf)

A triangular site has produced a response of bold geometries resulting in a popular and convivial building full of pleasures and surprises, writes Jay Merrick



O'Donnell and Tuomey are deserving recipients of this year's Royal Gold Medal (pdf), Architects Journal, 26 September, 2014

Irish couple cement place with Saw Swee Hock (pdf), Financial Times

Irish pair win to architecture prize (pdf), Irish Times

O'Donnell & Tuomey wins 2015 Royal Gold Medal (pdf), BD

Golden couple - RIBA medal given to Irish architects (pdf), The Guardian

...Today, O'Donnell + Tuomey, the architectural practice behind the design of  the Saw Swee Hock student centre, was awarded the Royal Institute of British Architects' Gold Medal.... 24th September, 2014



Architects Journal, September 2014

The AJ and the Concrete Centre present a video study of O'Donnell and Tuomey’s Stirling Prize-shortlisted Saw Swee Hock Student Centre at the LSE



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Architects Journal, August 2014

Astragal - Stirling Prize odds turnaround (pdf)

"...a wodge of cash was wagered on O'Donnell + Tuomey's Saw Swee Hock Student Centre....."


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Global Architecture Document, July 2014

Edition 128 (pdf) 


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BD Online, July 2014

LSE is BD readers' and bookies' Stirling favourite (pdf)

BD readers have given their overwhelming backing to O’Donnell & Tuomey as it battles to convert four unsuccessful Stirling Prize nominations into a victory......



BD Online, July 2014

Stirling Prize Shortlist 2014 (pdf)




Architects Journal, July 2014

Stirling Prize (pdf)

Finalists for the UK's most prestigious architecture award announced ...



The Guardian, 17 July 2014

Stirling prize shortlist review by Oliver Wainwright (pdf)

"A twisting, tumbling mountain of bricks...."



The Independent, 17 July 2014

Stirling prize shortlist by Rob Hastings (pdf)




Financial Times, 17 July 2014

City blockbusters feature in Stirling Prize shortlist (pdf)

A review by Edwin Heathcote



The Daily Telegraph, 17 July 2014

Why the Shard isn't a shoo-in (pdf)

Ellis Woodman on the RIBA Stirling architecture prize shortlist

"...ultimately there is a clear front-runner for this year's prize: The London School of Economics' extraordinary Saw Swee Hock Student Centre ..."



Architects Journal, June 2014

Forget politics, let's get passionate about architecture (pdf)

A review of this year's RIBA National and EU Awards by Felix Mara



Architects Journal, June 2014

Letter of the week (pdf)

No real competition




Space for Architecture, June 2014

Public lecture hosted by LSE Cities in partnership with LSE Estates

Sheila O'Donnell and John Tuomey discuss the ideas behind their award winning architectural design.  Listen to the podcast



New London Quarterly, Summer 2014

Making the grade (pdf)

Peter Murray looks at competitions as they have affected two projects on different sides of the world



Building Magazine, May 2014

Top universities to spend £9bn on estates by 2017 (pdf)




Architecture Ireland, May 2014

'A Hot Red Masterpiece'  (pdf)

Reports by O'Donnell + Tuomey and Tim Ronalds



Irish Arts Review, May 2014

Strange, familiar and old by Kester Rattenbury (pdf) 

The building is handmade like an unbelievably complex Japanese puzzle - not one brick is cut.



Architects Journal, May 2014

Client of the Year - London School of Economics (pdf)

Nominated by AJ100 practices and assessed by an AJ editorial panel, this award is presented to the client that, in the panel's view, made the greatest contribution to UK architecture over the year.



Architects Journal, May 2014

RIBA Regional Awards: London by Laura Mark (pdf)

O'Donnell + Tuomey pips Zaha to land RIBA London best building.


LSE day

Architects Journal, May 2014

Footprint: Green Sky Thinking event in SAW by Hattie Harman (pdf) 

Full transcript of the event (pdf)

The best green design marries passive principles with spatial quality and aesthetics.



NLA on Location, March 2014

Westminster on Location

SAW hosted this NLA 'on Location' event, which included a tour of the building.



Architects Journal, March 2014

Breakfast in SAW by Hattie Hartman (pdf)

Join the AJ for breakfast at O'Donnell + Tuomey's student centre at the LSE



New London Quarterly, Spring 2014

Putting down roots by Peter Murray (pdf)

O'Donnell + Tuomey's striking new student centre for the London School of Economics adds a new identity to the school's urban campus.



The Architectural Review, March 2014

Pattern Language by Kester Rattenbury (pdf)

Handmade bricks form a richly patterned screen that unites a complexity of functions in a new student centre for the London School of Economics.



The Sunday Times Culture Magazine, March 2014

Top of the form by Hugh Pearman (pdf)

Britain's universities are in a class of their own when it comes to progressive new buildings.



Architects Journal, February 2014

Footprint : Red brick university, by Joseph Rykwert (pdf)

At the LSE, O'Donnell + Tuomey has created imaginative, inviting and memorable architecture on an impossible site.



The Irish Times, February 2014

Building a profile: Irish architects making their mark on London, by Frank McDonald (pdf)

After their exceptional work at the London School of Economics, and the Photographers’ Gallery, O’Donnell and Tuomey should win more challenging commissions in the British capital.



Architecture Today, February 2014

O'Donnell & Tuomey's addition to the LSE honours people and place, by Ros Diamond (pdf)

ODT's visually striking and spatially rich Saw Swee Hock Student Centre at the London School of Economics validates the university's presence as a significant urban institution.



The Guardian, February 2014

A lesson in origami, by Oliver Wainwright (pdf)

In the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre, O'Donnell and Tuomey have produced a fold-out marvel that ducks and dodges between its neighbours' rights to light.



The Observer, February 2014

Saw Swee Hock Student Centre review, by Rowan Moore (pdf)

The LSE's new student centre by O'Donnell and Tuomey is a quietly impressive 'red brick Eiger' built to real old-school standards of design and construction.



RIBA Journal, February 2014

Angles with poise, by Hugh Pearman

O’Donnell + Tuomey’s Student Centre for the LSE zig zags out of the ground – a dramatic, angular statement layered with intense detail.  



Building Design, January 2014

Degrees of Certainty, by Ellis Woodman (pdf)

O’Donnell & Tuomey’s LSE student centre boldly introduces a faceted sculptural form into the dense urban grain of central London.



Building Design, December 2013 (2014 preview)

A slow start for the new landmarks, by Ellis Woodman (pdf)

The legacy of the recession means 2014 will be about beginnings rather than completions.



Architects Journal, December 2013

Sneak peak, by Laura Mark (pdf)

A tour of O’Donnell & Tuomey’s LSE student centre.



Architects Journal, December 2013

Year in review by Hattie Hartman (pdf)



BD Online, May 2011

Technical : Brick by Amanda Birch (pdf)

O'Donnell & Tuomey's competition - winning proposal for the London School of Economics' new Students' Centre is striking not only for its crumpled form, but its unusual perforated brick facing.




BD Reviews, December 2010

Kinsella's Way, by Ruth Slavid (pdf)

The LSE’s director of capital developments, Ken Kinsella, is poised to make his mark with a new student centre.


The team have received praise for the public presentation of the project.

To find out more about the project and the building visit our web pages.