SAW Building, London School of Economics

With a ‘BREAM Outstanding' rating the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre (SAW) has transformed the LSE campus. The building features SAS bespoke multicoloured wall cladding.

Key features




London School of Economics


O'Donnell & Tuomey

Main contractor

Geoffrey Osbourne Construction


SAS Project Management

Completion year


Area M2



United Kingdom

Product Groups

With its dramatic sculptural form and unusual perforated brick façade, the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre (SAW) has transformed the LSE campus. The building provides a range of facilities within a sustainable building envelope and has earned a BREAM Outstanding rating. The remarkable seven storey development is the first building the London School of Economics has commissioned in over 40 years.

The centre houses a student’s union and student focussed departments. Since opening its doors on 6th January 2014 praise for the building has flooded in from students, staff and architecture critics alike.

The student hub forms the heart of LSE. O’Donnell & Tuomey’s architectural intention was to create an inviting, welcoming space that inspired its users. They aspired to transform the student social experience by creating the best student’s centre in the UK.

which, according to the practice, ‘forms a skewering pivot point at the centre of gravity of the plan’. O’Donnell & Tuomey worked with SAS International to design the multi­coloured vitreous enamel panels, creating the focal design feature through the centre of the building.

SAS International supplied 360m² of wall panelling and worked to achieve a colour match true to the original intent. The design was carefully considered to work around all four corners of the structure ensuring that the different colours lined through perfectly on each elevation. Interface with the base structure and the lift fronts meant there was very little room for error.

This landmark design with green credentials is set to become London’s most sustainable higher education building. The ‘BREAM Outstanding’ rating exceeded the ‘Excellent’ rating originally targeted in the brief.