new LSE Global Centre for Social Sciences (GCSS)'s competition proposal . London


Apart from the surprisingly large areas of its surface that are superbly planned, London’s planning is an amalgamation of rules (some of them medieval), negotiation (some of it highly personal), and financial compensation for the damage inflicted by almost any structure on its neighbours.

Fundamentally hostile to the puritanism of the modern in this complex free for all, a number of styles have flourished - neo gothic, baroque, brutalism, post modernism, picturesque, high tech, and developer-class.
The LSE campus is a cacophony - at least periods of construction left their traces - it did not seem right for the environment to add a crisp new masterpiece.
Instead, we wanted to enlist the existing circumstances to produce its shape.

What intrigues us in this project is to imagine the lowest possible volume, to submit it to contextual, technical, regulatory demands and create in that way a stunningly beautiful volume, that has authority as a shape, seemingly transcending all the pragmatic demands that have, in fact, defined it.
Even as brief and clients have talked about public space, we have not subjected this Gordian cluster to the sudden and inevitably alien introduction of public space, but propose to not occupy the full footprint so that we crate, at the location where a large number of paths and directions converge, a central place defined by the majority of the LSE’s structures.

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