dublin-based practice grafton architects has been selected to design 44 lincoln’s inn fields/the paul marshall building, the next major building project of the london school of economics and political science (LSE). the studio was chosen ahead of a strong shortlist which included david chipperfield, diller scofidio + renfro, and herzog & de meuron. upon hearing the news, grafton commented: ‘we are absolutely delighted to be given this opportunity to build in this unique location in lincoln’s inn fields, across from the wonderful sir john soane’s museum, for a visionary client such as LSE.’


according to the brief, the new building should ‘play a key role in promoting the values, ethos and brand of the school’, while ‘inspiring future generations of students and academics’. the scheme requires adaptable teaching and research workspaces that combine old and new methods of student-centered learning and academic scholarship. following its redevelopment, the building will house a number of departments including the marshall institute for philanthropy and social entrepreneurship.

the structure draws light down towards the ground floor / all images courtesy of LSE




professor craig calhoun, director and president of LSE, chaired the jury panel which made the final decision after presentations from the six shortlisted teams. we had an extremely strong field of submissions to choose from but I’m pleased to announce grafton architects as the winner of our 44 LIF/the paul marshall building design competition,’ said professor calhoun. ‘their creative design is formal but also fun, and I have no doubt will further enhance LSE’s status as a university with an estate that matches its global academic reputation.’


director of estates and jury panel member julian robinson added: we believe grafton’s design has the potential to provide LSE with a distinctive and seminal piece of university architecture, which expresses the values and aspirations of the school. combining modernity and tradition we felt it would enhance lincoln’s inn fields and connect well with the rest of LSE. it’s an inspiring design and I look forward to working with grafton and their team to deliver it.’

academic departments are spread over five levels, connected via an open stairway




the other shortlisted teams were as follows:


AL_A (amanda levete architects)
david chipperfield architects
diller scofidio + renfro, with penoyre & prasad
herzog & de meuron
niall mclaughlin architects + scott brownrigg