The Marshall Building

London School of Economics

Grafton Architects

Project: The Marshall Building, London, UK
Sector: Education
Client: London School of Economics (LSE)
Architect: Grafton Architects
Start: July 2016
Completion: 2021

Area: 17,200sqm
Contract Value: £140m
Structural Engineering: AKTII
MEP Engineering: CBDSP
Contractor: Mace
Design Management: Plan A Consultants

Plan A Consultants was appointed by Grafton Architects as Design Managers for the new London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) Marshall Building.


After another architectural practice recommended Plan A, we were appointed directly by Grafton Architects at the completion of RIBA Stage 01 and continued into RIBA Stage 05. The role was led by a full time Design Manager, who travelled to Dublin fortnightly. 


Our key role was to minimise the commercial risk to Grafton Architects. We aligned the scopes, and made sub-consultancy appointments. We established an invoicing protocol to give clarity on what should be invoiced and when.

And our design management scope took the management burden off the Architect, allowing them to focus on their core design skills.

"We were very pleased to have Plan A's support on the Marshall Building for the London School of Economics and Political Sciences. Plan A collaborated well with us so that design management issues related to team organisation, programme and reporting were properly addressed." 

Director, Grafton Architects

Project description


Founded in 1895, the London School of Economics and Political Science is a leading Russell group university with more than 11,000 students. The university has a long tradition of employing signature Architects and Designers to design innovative and high-quality buildings.

In April 2016, LSE announced Grafton Architects had won the international architectural competition to design the 17,200 sqm Marshall Building at 44 Lincoln's Inn Fields. As lead consultant, Grimshaw would to appoint, manage and co-ordinate over twenty separate sub-consultants, with accompanying responsibilities and risk. LSE also established a large project management team. 

Planning was granted in June 2017 and Mace was appointed under a two-stage design and build process in December 2018. The building opened on 4 January 2022.

See the LSE website for more information and Grafton's fly-through.