LSE, Saw Swee Hock Student Centre

London, UK

‘Saw Swee Hock’ Student Centre is an RIBA Award winning multi-functional project that has transformed the LSE campus, providing contemporary and flexible social spaces and providing a new home for a variety of functions that include student support services (careers, accommodation, legal), recreational facilities (fitness centre, dance studio), two coffee bars and a pub, large multifunctional entertainment space for musical events, the chaplaincy, meeting rooms and the Students’ Union, accessible 24hrs a day.

The building’s environmental performance was a key project design driver, leading to it becoming the first academic development to achieve a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ rating in the UK. Energy demand for heating and cooling has been minimized by incorporating a range of passive design strategies - the use of perforated brick walls as a shading screens, exposed thermal mass in most spaces and natural ventilation incorporated as the primary means of cooling to most functional areas, except those catering for large occupancy levels, such as the pub and large multi-purpose entertainment space in the basement.

Green and clean technologies include the integration of a gas CHP unit to meet the majority of the building’s hot water and space heating demand, creating the potential for future connection to a possible district heating network in the LSE campus, as well as integration of photovoltaic panels in the inclined roof elements.


London, UK


Education, new build



Our Role

MEP Consultant/ Environmental Consultant/ Lighting Consultant/ IT Consultant


Natural ventilation through brick facade


Passive design strategies


Flexible space for variety of events


BREEAM Outstanding


London School of Economics


O’Donnell + Tuomey

Structural Engineer


Project Manager

Turner & Townsend

Cost Consultant


Main Contractor


Shortlisted for RIBA Stirling Prize 2014

Winner: RIAI International Award

Winner: Civic Trust Award 2015

Shortlisted: New London Awards 2014

LSE, Saw Swee Hock Student Centre

"The New Student Centre provides dynamic space with overlapping adjacencies between many student activities, a lively building with an open welcoming atmosphere. We have worked closely with the students and staff to develop a site-specific architectural design, tailored to the particular characteristics of the LSE brief and maximizing the 3-dimensional potential of the urban situation."