Completed in December 2012 and with the official opening taking place by LSBU’s Chancellor Richard Farleigh in June 2013, the new Student Centre at London South Bank University represents the first ‘anchor’ within London South Bank University’s Estate Strategy to revitalise the campus with enhanced public realm improving connections and legibility between campus and urban fabric of the area.

The infilling of the undercroft area below the Tower Building provides new student and support facilities and important public realm entrances from Borough Road and Kell Street. A number of quality London Plane trees line Borough Road and more varied planting of Alder, Sweet gum and Beech create a strong tree framework but also add to a shady site.

The landscape design creates a more attractive public realm with an ‘outward-looking’ campus with a very special sense of place with life and activity to the enhanced Kell Street and Public Square on Borough Road. Using a high quality palette of materials inspired by the history and heritage of the site with semi mature tree planting and rich sensory shrub and herbaceous perennial beds to promote and enhance biodiversity for urban ecology.

Drawing inspiration from history, most notably David Bomberg – one of the Whitechapel Boys – who taught at the University in the 1940’s and 50’s, the aim for the rejuvenated public realm gateway was for a dynamic ‘carpet’ of quality granite setts that draws out the strong geometry of the undercroft structure into the landscape.

This rigidity of structure is fractured and exploded with highlights of linear inground lighting, contrasting granite planks and granite and timber benches that draw pedestrians in from Borough Road but also allow for colonisation and use throughout the day.

By night, the architectural glazed screen frontage provides interesting reflections of the illuminated Borough Road landscape, while in Kell Street the new landscape areas allow for outside use for the Student Union bar.

Approximate Map Location


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