LSE's Saw Swee Hock Student Centre (SAW), the first new building commissioned by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in over 40 years,
has been shortlisted for the 2014 RIBA Stirling Prize.
The Stirling Prize is presented by RIBA to the architects of the building that has made the greatest contribution to the evolution of architecture over the past year. LSE's new student centre is nominated alongside the Library of Birmingham, London Aquatics Centre, Everyman Theatre, London Bridge Tower/The Shard and the Manchester School of Art.
SAW's dramatic sculptural form and unusual perforated brick façade was designed by Irish architect O’Donnell + Tuomey. RIBA have described the building as a "remarkable project…[and] an object lesson in mobilising the limitations of a site into a startlingly original building which makes a massive contribution to its townscape."
Julian Robinson, Director of Estates at LSE, said: “As soon as I saw John and Shelia's rudimentary first design ideas, prior to their formal selection, I had a sense that they had come up with something very special. As the design developed and then started to become reality, it became clear to me that they had indeed produced an architectural modern masterpiece. It is very gratifying the RIBA judges share our enthusiasm for this amazing building and have considered it worthy of a place on this year’s Stirling shortlist.”
Home to the LSE Students’ Union as well as student-focused administrative departments including LSE Careers, Residential Services and Accommodation Office, the building, known around campus as SAW, has been garnering praise since opening its doors in January 2014. It won the RIBA London Building of the Year Award earlier this year. Other awards include the Irish Building and Design Awards 2014 (International Architectural Project of the Year); the Irish Concrete Society Awards 2014 (International Building Award) and the Architectural Association of Ireland Awards (Building Award).
LSE was also named AJ100 Client of the Year by the Architects' Journal for its outstanding contribution to UK architecture earlier this year.
The Stirling Prize will be announced in October 2014.
Since opening its doors on 6 January 2014 it has steadily been garnering praise from students, staff and architecture critics alike.
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