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New Academic Building

Work has started on LSE's New Academic Building between Kingsway and Lincoln's Inn Fields.

Following planning approval in May, the School has appointed construction firm Osborne to convert the existing Edwardian building into a modern teaching environment, fit for a world class institution. The building at 24 Kingsway will see LSE more than double its teaching space when it opens in autumn 2008.

Architects for the project are Grimshaw. Their scheme involves the dramatic remodelling of the existing building with new features such as an atrium, roof pavilion and a different forecourt area. The building maximizes the use of natural light and ventilation and is planned to use pre-cooled water extracted from a borehole driven around 100m into the chalk aquifer below London, for cooling purposes. Solar collectors and photovoltaic panels will be positioned on the roof to provide additional power. There is also the future potential to introduce helical wind turbines within the new structure. The team are required to deliver a minimum of a 'very good' BREEAM rating, with the objective to reach 'excellent'.

Julian Robinson, LSE's director of planning and development, Estates, said: 'The new building is our first foray into Camden, and will give the School a high profile presence on Kingsway and Lincoln Inn's Fields, allowing LSE to re-plan and redevelop the existing Aldwych campus to accommodate increased student numbers. This will be a 21st century learning environment fit for a world-class institution. The project will be a benchmark for design quality and procurement approach for future LSE developments.'

Neven Sidor, Grimshaw's director in charge of the project, said: 'The New Academic Building will provide LSE with an exemplary academic environment, which promotes learning and social interaction. Subtle interventions in the existing facade and the vibrant new forecourt will enhance LSE's presence and connect with the surrounding urban context of Lincoln's Inn Fields and Kingsway.'

Cliff Thomas, divisional director of Osborne in London, said: 'We are delighted to have been awarded this prestigious contract. It firmly establishes our leading position in the higher education sector. The building offers Osborne a unique opportunity to demonstrate its skills in integrating and merging high-tech, modern construction processes within the existing Edwardian structure.'

For more about the New Academic Building, see New Academic Building|

9 June 2006