February 22, 2022

Lagos-based architectural firm to design £120m building on campus of London School of Economics

Studio Contra


By Adeola Badru

Nigerian architectural firm, Studio Contra is set to design a new £120m net-zero building on the campus of the London School of Economics.

The London School of Economics (LSE), revealed six shortlisted architectural teams to design a ‘final set piece’ building on its campus after expressions of interest were submitted by over 100 firms from around the world in January 2022.

A statement made available to Vanguard in Ibadan on Tuesday by the firm revealed that over the past 15 years LSE has invested more than £500 million in transforming its historic London campus in a drive to create exceptional university architecture and become net-zero carbon by 2030.

“The new 12,540m² academic building will house the ‘Firoz Lalji Global Hub’ featuring conference facilities, teaching spaces and digital labs. It will also be home to a film studio, a 350-seat theatre, seminar rooms, break-out areas, research accommodation and café,” the statement said.

The young Lagos-based architectural practice, Studio Contra, in collaboration with award-winning London firm, Alison Brooks Architects are among the top global talent on the list of finalists for this landmark project; the first Nigerian architectural firm to reach the final stage of a major European public competition.

“Studio Contra, founded by Jeffrey Adjei and Olayinka Dosekun-Adjei in 2017, seeks excellence in design through new forms of architectural expression and values conceptual thinking, cultural sensitivity and craftsmanship in execution.”

“Cindy Walters, Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) architect adviser to the LSE commented: ‘The shortlist is a rich and balanced mix of extraordinary architectural talent who have all placed environmental sustainability front and centre of their aspirations for the project. The selection process has been rigorous and inclusive and reflects the ambition of the exceptional client that the LSE has become.”

“The other finalist teams include David Chipperfield with London practice Feix & Merlin; John McAslan + Partners with US-based Tod Williams/Billie Tsien Architects and Bangladesh architect Marina Tabassum; Danish architect Dorte Mandrup with London-based John Robertson Architects; Feilden Clegg Bradley with Danish practice Lendager; and Belfast-based Hall McKnight.”

“Competition judges include LSE director of estates Julian Robinson; LSE director and president Monouche Shafi; Ricky Burdett, professor at LSE Cities; LSE Students’ Union general secretary Josie Stephens; and Firoz Lalji, a Ugandan-born former student and IT entrepreneur who is sponsoring the project.”

“The shortlisted teams will present their proposals to the jury panel in mid-May 2022,” the statement concluded.