Architect sees off OMA and Hopkins to triumph in competition organised by university and RIBA

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners has defeated four other signature architects to win the competition to design a £90m new building for the London School of Economics.

The firm saw off bids from fellow international firms Hopkins Architects, OMA, Grafton Architects and Heneghan Peng to be appointed to design the LSE’s new global centre for social sciences (GCSS) in Aldwych in a competition organised in partnership with the RIBA.

Earlier this month, the jury failed to agree a winner and called on the architects to improve their designs as there was no one outstanding scheme.

But the LSE said today that RSHP’s latest entry went “beyond the brief” and also overwhelmingly triumphed in a vote of its staff, students and visitors.

Professor Craig Calhoun, director of the LSE and chairman of the jury, said: “From an extremely strong field of submissions, LSE has chosen Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners to create a new structure at the heart of our campus.

“They have designed beautiful, dynamic buildings around the world and they offered an elegant, thoughtful submission to this competition.

“RSHP 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.

“My colleagues and I are delighted that the RSHP team will now work with us to complete the design and add to the excitement of our terrific London location.”

Director of estates and Jury panel member Julian Robinson added:  “Each of the five proposals gave us pause for thought with innovative design responses.

“We intend this to be a seminal piece of university architecture so it was important we took time to get the decision right. The RSHP proposal goes beyond the School’s brief by giving us a new public square in the heart of the campus.”

Ivan Harbour, senior partner leading the project at RSHP, said: “We are excited to be working with the LSE and 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. Our new addition to the campus will enrich the urban context and reflect the essence of the LSE.”

The brief for the new centre called for world-class architecture which “matched LSE’s international academic reputation”. The brief also specified the need to demolish and redevelop of a number of existing buildings on Houghton Street and Clare Market on the School’s Aldwych campus.