The London School of Economic and Political Science's first new building for more than 40 years drew a step closer with the grant of planning permission by Westminster City Council.
The New Students' Centre will be built on the current St Philips site on LSE's campus. The School's ambition is to procure an exemplary piece of architecture which is innovative, sustainable and inspirational, and which will be at the forefront of 'Contemporary Westminster'. The striking modern design by Irish architects O'Donnell & Tuomey is on course to be completed by Easter 2013.
Sustainability has also been a key factor in the building design. The centre will not only be a landmark building for the School, it will also be one of the 'greenest' buildings around campus. The School's environmental aspiration for this building is a BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) rating of 'Outstanding' with a contractual requirement of 'Excellent'.
Howard Davies, director of LSE, said: 'This exciting and sustainable building will facilitate a step-change in the quality of the estate and the student experience and will meet our aspiration of having the best students' building in the UK. We are grateful to Westminster for sharing this vision.'
Julian Robinson, director of estates, said: 'The members of the City Planning and Development Committee at Westminster have demonstrated that they value quality architecture, have a clear vision for the development of their city and understand the role of LSE within this.
'We, of course, had a massive advantage with architects O'Donnell and Tuomey, who never cease to surprise and delight me. The integrity of their design and the intelligence of their approach has meant they have been a pleasure to work with. These qualities shone through when they met the planners.
'Now planning permission has been achieved the next stage will be to appoint a contractor who is capable of understanding the nuances of the design and will deliver the high quality building desired by LSE, Westminster and O'Donnell Tuomey.'
The New Students' Centre will house the Students' Union - including venue, pub, learning cafe, exercise studio, roof terrace coffee/juice bar, fitness centre, media centre, activities space, societies activities, advice and representation centres; Inter Faith Prayer centre; Residences; Accommodation; Sales and Marketing Office; and LSE Careers' Service.
For more on the New Students' Centre, see http://www2.lse.ac.uk/intranet/students/newStudentsCentre/Home.aspx
Julian Robinson, Estates, on 020 7955 6761, email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Jess Winterstein, LSE Press Office, on 020 7107 5025, email: email@example.com Pictures available on request