Saw Swee Hock Student Centre

Named in honour of Professor Saw Swee Hock, who celebrated the 50th anniversary of his graduation from LSE in 2013, the building opened its doors on 6 January 2014.

The striking building design, by Irish architects O'Donnell & Tuomey, received praise from students, staff and architecture critics alike, and has been nominated, shortlisted and presented with numerous awards throughout 2014 and 2015 and beyond.

Saw Swee Hock opening brochure

On Friday 24 October 2014, LSE and the LSE Students’ Union celebrated the official opening of the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre and a brochure (pdf) and video were produced to commemorate the opening

Julian Robinson, Director of Estates, decided that the journey travelled by all who were involved with the creation of this award winning building should be documented. A unique building justified a unique book.

Saw book cover

The book Saw Swee Hock Student Centre: The Realisation of the London School of Economics Student Centre was sponsored by:

Capita (cost consultant)
Osborne (main contractor)
Turley Assoc. (planning consultants)
Turner + Townsend (project managers and employers agent)
and published by Artifice Books.   

Following established practice in Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE), LSE Estates commissioned ZZA Responsive User Environments to conduct systematic research on the effectiveness of SAW for its range of users.  A newsletter (PDF) containing a summary of the POE was issued in September 2014, or you can view the full summary report (PDF)

LSE Estates also commissioned a series of Vox Pop interviews with LSE staff and students, to record their initial impressions of the building and the facilities within.  View the film by Rod McAllister and William Pine entitled Saw Swee Hock Student Centre: Reaction and Reflection (YouTube)

Saw Swee Hock Student Centre also featured in episode 4 of Designing Ireland 'Design Thinking’ - © Newgrange Pictures in November 2015.

On Sunday 23 September 2018 the building will be showcased for the fifth time as part of Open House weekend.  Guided tours will be offered between 10am and 4pm.  Visitors will be given a building fact sheet (pdf) and tours take approximately 45mins.

Feedback from building users

  • The design of the building is very inspiring. The fact that they could fit such a building into such a small space makes you feel like anything is possible.
  • I feel like LSE has been re-vamped through this building.
  • Before I thought the campus was really small and seemed like a maze. This building makes it seem more modern and new. The new gym is incredible, and it’s a great building to showcase in terms of attracting new students.
  • I wouldn’t have come to campus today if it wasn’t here. It’s so much better than the old student building which I didn’t use at all. This is a big step up.
  • With the new Student Centre, I feel like LSE has more of a campus, whereas before you had to actively seek out a campus feel with other people you didn’t directly know. It’s now easier to meet other people.
  • All the spaces have been well thought-out. It’s the building I come to at the start of the day. It’s also easy to access.
  • It’s really good communal space where you can work and socialize
  • The seating plan allows for more interaction amongst all the teams and I love the hot water faucet!
  • How bright and modern the office is and the new kitchen. Also really nice to be on the same floor at the resource centre.
  • It puts us at the heart (spatially) of student activity which reinforces what an important department we are in terms of their LSE experience.
  • We’re all on one floor and I think the consultation rooms are much nicer (and quieter!).
  • The big windows.
  • I like the wooden floor – looks very nice and a bit different for an office.
  • Very pleasant working environment overall
  • So much more natural light.