KCL’s main Strand building, now fronting onto a calm green ‘apron’ that leads to the Bush House buildings (top); St Mary Le Strand, a centrepiece in the new planted central area between the north and south buildings on KCL’s Strand campus (middle); Bush House South West, newly acquired by KCL as additional space for the growing university (bottom).

Change in teaching + teaching space

Trends to more interactive, streamed and recorded university teaching started way before the pandemic, but the lockdowns accelerated online delivery. The current drive for ’sticky campuses’ has given new impetus to teach in person. In parallel, zero carbon has promoted a focus on building adaptation. In a holistic suite of studies, ZZA has unified these strands, researching the effectiveness of upgraded teaching spaces in legacy buildings, from the perspective of the teams delivering and managing them, the experience of students who’re taught there, and the academics who teach there.

LSE Marshall Building POE + other new publications

The challenge of a busy research practice is time to publish. And we’re always asked for more!

The summary report of ZZA’s Post Occupancy Evaluation of the LSE’s Marshall Building is now available on the LSE website. It covers our structured research with students, academics and professional services staff, and with LSE colleagues who run the building and deliver its services.

The Education Design Unit, a collaboration between ZZA and colleagues from other built environment disciplines, has produced a strategic design guide for university estates teams. Optimising University Estates, produced for AUDE (the Association of University Directors of Estates) covers universities’ key drivers and challenges in adapting buildings and campuses for wellbeing, carbon efficiency, and student appeal, suggesting prompts and pathways to identify and realise opportunities to achieve more.

Evaluating adaptive re-use: Former UK carpark transformed into work and learning space’, describing ZZA’s Post Occupancy Evaluation of Make Architects’ design studio, is now published as a case-study by Ziona Strelitz in a new guide to POE

Transformed university quarter

The part of London from Lincoln’s Inn Fields to the River Thames is home to two significant universities: the London School of Economics and Kings College London. Recent enhancements to the public realm across this area have had enormous transformational impact, benefitting both the student communities and the wider public with more amenable, more usable, safer external zones that better integrate both these campuses themselves, and their relation to the city.

Kings College London

Straddling both sides of the Strand, the north and south zones of KCL’s Strand campus were formerly separated by a busy vehicle thoroughfare. With the roadway newly closed to motor traffic, KCL is now unified by a valuable external space arranged around the centrepiece of St Mary le Strand, a fine church building dating from the early 18th Century. Already large, and growing, KCL have acquired the existing building of Bush House South West, adjacent to the signature Bush House central building, former home of the BBC. ZZA is working with KCL to formulate the strategic brief for the most beneficial uses to accommodate in the university’s new building.

Contemporary adaptation

When ZZA started working with the School in 2004 on a strategic brief for the New Academic Building, now renamed the Cheng Kin Ku Building, the LSE was lacking in quality outdoor areas. An ambitious development programme has resulted in a fine sequence of pedestrian spaces that make a marked contribution to student life. Researching the effect of successive campus enhancements, ZZA has evidenced the incremental satisfaction that students express in their perceptions and experience of the campus. With all student-facing facilities relevant to university life, ZZA is researching the effectiveness of a programme to enhance teaching spaces in older LSE buildings that have been adapted to contemporary standards.



‘Bench as gathering space’ – a popular feature incorporated in the facade of the LSE’s Marshall Building (top); New plaza on campus, an asset provided as part of the design strategy for the LSE’s Centre Building, here thrumming with participants at Summer School (middle); Performance on Houghton Street, a former vehicle thoroughfare, now pedestrianised with enhanced hard and soft landscaping, also undertaken in the programme to deliver Centre Building (bottom)