We were asked by the London School of Economics to make proposals to improve the entrances to two buildings on their central London campus. Connaught House and Columbia House are both nine storey buildings facing on to Aldwych, dating from the 1920s, The entrances serving the upper floors are narrow, poorly lit and cluttered. They are both tunnel-like sequences of spaces of different widths, ceiling heights and materials.
We carried out a detailed survey and study of the services, equipment and signage required. We proposed giving both lobbies new terrazzo floors and new linings of fumed oak which would unite the disparate spaces and allow services to be concealed. Generally the timber linings stop just above head level, providing a place to conceal uplighters to light the painted walls and soffits above. By varying the height of the lining and sometimes taking up over the ceiling the character of the space can be altered deeper into the building. The pigeon holes, lift doors and signage would be made of brass to contrast with the timber.