LSE launches competition for £400m Bankside redevelopment

By Janset An

Last month, LSE revealed six shortlisted firms who will compete to win the opportunity of redeveloping, demolishing and renovating LSE’s largest student residence, Bankside Hall. LSE is being assisted in this process by their chosen partners, Bouygeus UK and Equitix, the former of which has experience constructing student accommodations in Birmingham and Exeter. 

The design competition will end by April this year. Construction is set to begin in 2026 and will cost an estimated £400 million. A previous renovation attempt was made in 2011, when LSE received approval for a three storey extension that did not materialise. The current project is the most ambitious renovation to date. 

Bankside House currently houses up to 600 students and is located near popular London sites such as the Tate Modern, London Eye and St Paul’s Cathedral, whilst only being a 25-minute walk from campus. It was constructed in the 1950s as an office for Bankside Power Station before being converted into a LSE student accommodation in the late 1990s.

It is projected this renovation will increase Bankside’s capacity to 2000 people in pursuit of achieving LSE’s goal of being able to offer every first-year student a space to live by 2030. The Director of Estates at LSE, Julian Robinson, who will also be a judge on the panel deciding the winning team in April, outlined the focus of this renovation as “affordability”, “environmental sustainability” and the display of “exemplary civic architecture.” LSE has a strong reputation of ambitious architectural pursuits which contributed to the university earning the title of the first carbon-neutral university in the UK in 2021

The proposed project has brought into question the impact of what the renovation will have on its surroundings. In 2021, LSE was in conflict with the Southwark Council over the New Southwark Plan. This plan suggested implementing a protected view of the silhouette of the Tate Modern looking from the Millennium Bridge. This disagreement led to a reversal of plans to construct an additional 500 rooms in Bankside House. Inspectors who examined the plan claimed LSE’s aim of increasing the height of the building was justified.

Photograph from the LSE Website

Janset reports on the upcoming renovation of LSE's largest student halls

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