The London firm founded by architect Richard Rogers saw off competition from four other offices including OMA and Hopkins Architects to win the £90 million project at the London School of Economics (LSE) campus in Bloomsbury.
"Each of the five proposals gave us pause for thought with innovative design responses," commented LSE director of estates Julian Robinson, who was on the judging panel. "We intend this to be a seminal piece of university architecture so it was important we took time to get the decision right."
The brief for the Global Centre for Social Sciences (GCSS) includes the demolition and redevelopment of several existing buildings on Houghton Street and Clare Market. Unlike the other entries, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners proposes adding a new public square in the heart of the campus.
"[Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners] have designed beautiful, dynamic buildings around the world and they offered an elegant, thoughtful submission to this competition," said LSE director and fellow judge Craig Calhoun. "[They] grasped that this would be a building at once for the university and for the city, an enhancement to public as well as academic space."
LSE staff and students were given an opportunity to vote for their favourite proposal in a public exhibition and the same scheme came out top by "an overwhelming margin".
"We look forward to an open dialogue with the school, so that together we can create the best environment possible for the university and its students," added architect Ivan Harbour. "Our new addition to the campus will enrich the urban context and reflect the essence of the LSE."
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