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USM supporting the future study of architecture in the UK

The new London School of Architecture (LSA) site in Mare Street, East London incorporates an open plan library that houses striking furniture donated by Swiss modular furniture company USM.

The LSA was created in 2015 by journalist turned educator Will Hunter to ensure that the study of architecture was open to a broader range of students from differing backgrounds, making courses accessible to talented students who were unable to study architecture due to financial restrictions. The LSA fills the gap between academic and professional life; students in their first year are placed in one of the 100 architecture practices that form part of its network for three days a week, effectively learning on the job and earning money to help off-set course fees.

When USM were recently approached to donate furniture for the new Mare Street building, they were more than happy to help. A large bookcase in steel blue dominates the LSA library and houses books donated by various practices, whilst an adjacent storage cabinet in beige completes the space. The clean lines of the furniture compliment the environment and the longevity in the design of the iconic furniture speaks for itself in terms of sustainability; the modular nature of the furniture means that both the bookcase and the cabinet can be reconfigured if the needs of the library change. Nothing needs to be thrown away, as thanks to the retrospective compatibility of USM products, previously purchased parts can be combined with newly purchased parts.

Ian Weddell – USM UK CEO comments:

“We were delighted to donate these pieces to the school. As a company we’re interested in helping to support the education of architects and designers. If you give people a good product to work with at the beginning of their careers it may set the standard going forward and create a positive level of expectation”

The LSA uses London as it canvas rather than relying on an iconic headquarters, keeping fees low by having minimum physical space. Designed by Hesselbrand there is very little in the way between students and teachers, nothing is hidden so you can see how the space is made and what it is doing.

Will Hunter – Director & Founder of LSA explains:

“We wanted the building to be filled with a constellation of like-minded organisations, engaging with brands interested in innovation in architecture and design. Working with USM was about working with a company that matched our own values – I like its rigorous design language”

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