At the Heart of LSE: Centre Building by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
Client: London School of Economics and Political Science
Architects: Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
Location: Houghton St, Holborn, London WC2A 2AE (GB)
The Centre Building, designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners for the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), is the tallest building in the history of the social-sciences university. The 13-storey structure comprises more than a dozen seminar rooms, four lecture theatres, an “LSE Style Theatre” for cooperative projects and an centre for LSE alumni.
At the heart of the building, a public area connects Houghton Street with the Library Plaza and Lincoln’s Inn Fields, located on the western edge of the Holborn campus, with the LSE buildings to the east. The “Academic Stairway” extends diagonally over the profile of the façade and links the individual research institutes.
The conceptualization of this project involved more than the original development of a new academic environment, explains Tracy Meller, a partner at Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. The Centre Building is above all an example of sustainable design principles, for it has achieved BREEAM Outstanding certification. Natural ventilation paths provide a healthy learning and spatial climate, while a heating system that works with biomass and photovoltaic elements regulates energy balance.