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New Academic Building


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Contributor(s): Howard Davies, Julian Robinson; Jim Gardiner; Professor Saul Estrin; Nevin Sidor; Ingrid Bille; Professor Hugh Collins

Released on 18 December 2008.

On 5 November 2008, Her Majesty The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh officially opened the New Academic Building (NAB) at LSE. This video, produced by 2k5 Media, commemorates the opening of the NAB and provides an insight into the work of architects and builders that turned an old Edwardian building into a superb teaching space for students by day and the city's most contemporary venue for public lectures in the evening. The £71 million New Academic Building, designed by the architects Grimshaw and built by Osborne, houses the School's Departments of Management and Law, and its new Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change. It has eight floors of teaching rooms, four lecture theatres, a debating chamber and offices, and is built around a soaring central atrium flooded with natural light. LSE Director Howard Davies said: 'It's a wonderful space which at last gives us the academic environment to match our academic reputation. The building will help reinvigorate teaching and learning at an expanding LSE. I'm sure it will also be a popular destination for the thousands of visitors who come to our public talks and other events.'The video explains how the internal structures were removed and replaced with new floors - all suspended from a steel truss on the eighth floor to allow a column-free central atrium, which has a timber floor that also swoops up one wall to the third storey and the atrium's glazed roof. It also explains how the building was designed to minimise its environmental impact. A borehole deep in the London soil provides ground water cooling for lecture theatres while solar heating helps provide warm water. The building also includes a natural ventilation system and a cycle park - helping it achieve an 'Excellent' rating under the BREEAM- assessment scheme. At the building's centre is a specially-commissioned artwork by Joy Gerrard which uses a series of hanging globes to represent constellations of ideas and the way that major political or economic thoughts echo through public life. A second art work, by sculptor Richard Wilson, will be unveiled outside the building in the new year. The New Academic Building hosted LSE's first ever literary festival, Space for Thought, which took place from 27 February to 1 March 2009.

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