London School of EconomicsLondon, UK Estates Office, LSE Education, Heritage + Historic, Repositioning + Transformation 162,000 ft2 / 15,000 m2
Located close to Aldwych in the heart of London, the London School of Economics (LSE) is a world-famous academic institution. Its principal buildings, ranging in date from the 1920s to the 1960s, line the L-shaped enclave of Houghton Street/Clare Market. The School has grown through acquisition of new buildings and piecemeal additions to existing facilities, which has resulted in a disparate collection of spaces on a crowded site without clarity or coherence and lacking many amenities typically found on contemporary campuses.
The LSE’s ongoing development program includes many commissions that will transform the school’s working environment, including refurbishment of the main library and improvements to public spaces. KPF’s work for the LSE has involved a number of renovations to the School’s Old Building, including the upgrade of the main reception area and the conversion of a former light well space at the building’s core to create a light-filled atrium space. The new atrium is covered by a lightweight roof fabric with six operable vents to further enhance indoor environmental quality. The atrium both serves to orient movement within the building and provide a focal gathering space for the school's community.
A major new entrance has been formed at Clare Market, which offers universal access for the disabled, which was not possible at the main entrance. Adjacent to the new atrium a “one-stop shop” student centre has been created in areas formerly occupied by lecture rooms, to handle student enquiries and improve on-site amenities.