Centre Building Redevelopment

A state-of-the-art facility built to inspire

A perfectly designed building to match LSE’s world-class standard of teaching

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Centre Building Redevelopment Project summary

Client name

The London School of Economics and Political Science

Key partner

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, AKT2

Services provided





UK and Europe, UK - London and south-east England

Project timeline

Start date
January 2017

Project story

The 13- storey Centre Building is the largest project commissioned in LSE’s120-year history. It is also the highest building on campus, offering spectacular views across London.

Replacing four outdated campus buildings has given the university a new heart amid the bustle of central London, with facilities now matching its world-class standard of teaching. 

With its bold and beautiful design, a learning environment has been created to inspire staff and students with modern offices, a dedicated alumni centre, collaborative and independent study areas, teaching theatres and rooms, break-out and social spaces four lecture theatres, including an innovative LSE style theatre. To facilitate interaction, a public square has been placed at the heart of the building, creating a new focal point for students and staff to interact while linking Houghton Street to the Library Plaza and connecting Lincoln’s Inn Fields on the western edge of the campus to the LSE buildings to the east.

LSE’s values of adaptability and teamwork resonated with our own culture of innovation and collaboration and these came together strongly. As the main contractor for the redevelopment we worked closely with LSE to bring this building to life. During pre-construction we collaborated with LSE and the design team to develop a buildable and affordable solution. Conscious of being cost effective, we market tested key packages and identified a significant shortfall, prompting design reviews and resulting in significant savings. Working with the architectural, structural and MEP consultants we reorganised a number of space-planning elements – saving money without compromising on any key requirements.

Following delivery of the Centre Building, Mace has been appointed by LSE to construct a second building which will house the Marshall Institute for Philanthropy and Social Entrepreneurship, teaching facilities, the academic departments of Accounting, Finance and Management, as well as sports and arts rehearsal facilities. Construction is now well underway and the project is expected to be completed in 2021. 

15,500m2 GIA
6 storey block
13 storey tower

points of note

Designed for construction

Bringing together the political science departments and institutes on the upper levels, the redevelopment has been designed to encourage cross-disciplinary work. An intricate staircase creates both a visual and physical connection between the departments with meeting areas interspersed throughout. A perfect place for departments to work together on important issues such as migration, social mobility and a new era of global politics.

Using BIM

We developed ‘installation models’ and carried out regular BIM modelling reviews with both the subcontractors and design team. The MEP subcontractor models were of particular importance as the building has a large amount of expressed high quality concrete finishes which needed to be coordinated with the visible MEP services. Using BIM allowed us to co-ordinate the delivery, streamline processes and mitigate any issues.

Supporting the community

Following the discovery of two homeless people on site, the Mace team established a work experience programme with the charity 'Crisis' called Doorways. In addition, the team worked in partnership with the Abbey Centre in Westminster to develop bespoke training, helping women return to work.

Minimal energy, maximum value

The building has been designed to minimise energy use by harnessing natural sources of heat, lighting and ventilation through louvers, automatic heating sensors and natural ventilation. These measures reduce the impact on the environment and are effective at saving costs. The building is powered by a biofuel engine and has 100% LED lighting.

Sustainable from the start

Sustainability has been an integral part of the LSE’s strategy and a key consideration from the building’s conception into its construction, with the building achieving BREEAM “outstanding” rating.