The 2016 competition for the design of a new building at the London School of Economics and Political Research on Lincoln’s Inn Fields was won by Grafton Architects, which carried the day over firms like David Chipperfield Architects, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Herzog & de Meuron.
In the facade of the Marshall Building, the upper levels present vertical elements that result in a dynamic complex, with a rhythm that becomes more dense as it rises. The 18,000-square-meter construction features lecture theaters, informal study areas, academic offices, rehearsal halls, and sport facilities. To adapt to different uses, the sculptural structure resembles ‘concrete trees,’ with columns and beams branching out. The social space under the branches is thus a covered plaza. The floor here slopes slightly, generating a one-meter difference between extremes and making steps unnecessary.