On 20th December 2011, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) was granted planning permission by the London Borough of Southwark for an extension and partial refurbishment of the Bankside House hall of residence.
Julian Robinson, director of estates at LSE, said: "We are pleased that Southwark's planning committee has unanimously approved our application to add an extra two storeys to our Bankside House hall of residence. LSE has been investing in Bankside for 16 years and this extension will enable us to offer more rooms to students at well below the market level."
Bankside House was built in the early 1950's as an ancillary office space to the nearby power station. In 1994 the property underwent a change of use and was converted into a student hall of residence in 1996 by LSE. Since this conversion, the School has operated the building primarily as a student residence but also maintained ancillary meeting and study facilities on the upper floors that are no longer fully utilised. There are currently 563 rooms offering accommodation for 604 students during the academic year that are then converted into hotel rooms catering for up to 1034 guests during the summer months.
The proposal at Bankside House includes a roof top extension, to provide and additional 104 student rooms, and the refurbishment of the ground and lower ground areas. The roof top remodelling involves the partial demolition of the building's top three floors (which includes the existing roof plant) and the provision of three new floors of student accommodation. The lower ground will be extensively refurbished to improve student amenity areas, with the creation of study rooms, a music, TV and games rooms, a large common room area and improved laundry facilities.
In addition to this, cycling park facilities to replace an existing underground car park will be created, with stands for 190 bikes. The ground floor will undergo partial refurbishment to improve existing amenity and restaurant areas with the basement bar moving adjacent the existing restaurant space. Finally the proposal will include extensive works to external areas including a new landscaped terrace along Great Guildford Street, new landscape works on the Sumner Street frontage and the reconfiguration to the building's front forecourt entrance area.
Works will now commence on the detailed design development of the proposals, with the projected commencement date for the works in the Summer of 2013.
Further details of the scheme and key images of the proposals can be found at the http://www2.lse.ac.uk/intranet/LSEServices/estatesDivision/pdf/CD_updates/Bankside_proposal.pdf (PDF).
4 January 2012