Why is the LSA moving?
The LSA has been deliberately itinerant in its first decade – moving from Somerset House, to Soho, to Mare Street, and then to Orsman Road. That nomadism has been part of our identity – flexible, agile, responsive to needs, keeping our overheads low and concentrating our income on teaching, where it should be.
When we moved to Orsman Road, the School’s founder, Will Hunter had negotiated a 2-year lease and we served as an ‘anchor tenant’ as the office sector adjusted to a post-covid market. With the shifts in the rental market over the last year or so, it became clear that a continuation at Orsman was not tenable for the LSA.
Additionally, over the last two years, it has become evident that our space at Orsman Road does not offer everything we need for our students and the growth of the LSA. It has become clear that we need to prioritise inhabiting a space that can support a range of activities, including model-making, messy-working, outreach programmes and smaller workshops. Essentially, Orsman Road doesn’t provide the flexibility we need as a school that embodies change, adaptability and interdisciplinarity.
Why Beechwood Road?
Beechwood Road allows us to provide many of the spaces that were lacking at Orsman Road; a workshop, a smaller seminar room for outreach programmes and tutorials and a large open-plan flexible space for lectures and day-to-day working. Beechwood Road will amount to just over 5000 sq ft of space accessible to our students.
Most importantly, the space at Beechwood Road can be ours to shape for the future of the LSA. Our ambition for the space is that, in collaboration with you, we will embed ourselves in a new home that has social and environmental sustainability at its heart, one which will allow us to root ourselves more deeply within Hackney and its communities. This is a space that you will be able to shape, and is a real-time reflection of the type of work undertaken by our students.
Why are we being told now?
We have been searching for the perfect space for the LSA, and have been undergoing extensive negotiations to ensure that we get the best out of the space at Beechwood Road. We signed the lease for the space on 20 June, and have immediately shared the change of location with you.
We are guided by our student protection plan and the Consumer Law Advice for Higher Education Providers to inform you of changes. All students have been contacted individually about the change and their rights within consumer law.
Will I have my own desk?
The LSA has always operated a flexi-desk policy. We will have capacity for everyone to have a work space, but we will have a clean-desk policy to ensure the space remains flexible and tidy. There will be additional storage space provided to allow you to maintain the clean-desk policy.
What will the access hours be?
The access hours will be from 8:00-22:00 on weekdays. There will be weekend access to the space, more details will follow before the start of term. There will also be an extension of hours close to deadlines, which will be discussed as the occasion arises.
Will there be break out space available?
The main space at Beechwood Road is going to be fully flexible. As well as four large central tables, the main space will include a long folding bar and four tutorial pods. Additionally, we will have a smaller seminar room on the first floor, which can be used for quiet working space, as well as a space for tutorials, workshops and our outreach programmes.
What security measures will be in place?
For security reasons, we will not use the main street-facing door, but will instead access the space through the side door that will be secured with fob access. As at Orsman Road, the Studio Manager will manage the entrance and will only give access to expected guests.
What are the transport links?
We have excellent transport links (rated by the TfL Public Transport Accessibility Level (PTAL) as 6a. Beechwood Road is a 4 minute walk from Dalston Junction overground, a 7 minute walk from Dalston Kingsland overground and a 15 minute walk from Hackney Downs stations. It is also well connected to multiple bus routes.
We encourage use of public transport and cycling. There is public cycle parking outside the LSA and at Dalston Junction Station which is a short walk away.
There are limited pay by phone parking spaces on Beechwood Road. Blue badge holders may park in these spaces free of charge for an unlimited period of time. See Hackney Council
How has the space changed since DTT symposium earlier this year?
The main space of Beechwood Road looks significantly different to when we visited for the DTT symposium earlier this year. We have removed the stage and the internal walls from the kitchen and ground floor office, which opens the space up and gives us a similar open-plan space and square footage to Orsman Road.
The space has had significant superficial improvements since the Symposium, including new paint and new radiators and a new kitchen area in the main space.
While we are not upgrading the MEP at this time, we are improving the lighting in time for the next academic year. We look forward to testing retrofit solutions with you as part of an ongoing co-design process.
What facilities will be available?
The main space will have a ‘cold’ kitchen – this will include a tea/coffee station and a fridge for your day-to-day use. You will also have access to a small kitchen space on the ground floor which will contain our microwaves.
There are currently two ground floor toilets available for our use. We also plan on adding a shower in the basement for our use.
Will there be a model workshop?
We are pleased to be welcoming the New School of Furniture Making to share our new space at Beechwood Road. The New School of Furniture Making will be operating out of the basement and will have a fully functional workshop space that students will be able to access. This space is expected to open by January 2024.
Will we be sharing the new location with anyone else?
We have exclusive use of the main ground floor space, as well as the first and second floor spaces.
There is a linking space between our space and the Holy Trinity Church, which includes two bathrooms and a small kitchen. We will have exclusive use of this space from 1000-18:00 during the week, but may have to share these spaces during weekends. We will make shared times explicit when we open and advise students to keep the shared spaces free for other users.
As mentioned, the New School of Furniture Making will have daily use of the basement.
Will Year 1 and 2 students be able to study at the same time?
The capacity of the new studio is big enough for Year 1 and 2 students to share the space depending on the activity. For example, if Year 1 students are in a lecture, they will be gathered at the end of the studio and tables will be available at the other end. Also there will be a seminar room upstairs for student use. All use will be timetable dependent but we have designed the space to ensure flexibility and co-location of student and staff groups.
Will the space be ready for students by the time term starts?
The studio space will be operational by the start of term, but some additional works will be continuing in the other parts of the building.
What is the maximum capacity of Beechwood Road?
Beechwood Road has been designed to be totally flexible. The seated capacity for various standard arrangements is as follows:
Studio – Standard tutorial layout
- 48 seats around central tables
- 10-12 seats along the high-bar
- 8-12 seats around the working pods (these have been designed for tutorials, with one student and two tutors, but can be arranged in a variety of ways)
- 6 seats in the kitchen area
Total: 72-78 seats
Studio – Standard lecture layout
Option 1 – Indicative layout
Option 2 – Indicative layout
- Lecture seating for 70 – leaving 50% capacity for different seating/working formats
- Desk seating for 25-35 – flexibility to use central desks, tutorial pods, high bar and kitchen area
Our first floor seminar room can accommodate up to 24 people seated at tables, or 30-35 people in a lecture format. This space will be available for all students, in accordance with timetabling.
- Total possible seating capacity for tutorials/workshop: c. 100
- Total desk capacity during lectures: c. 60
- Maximum lecture/event seated capacity: c. 120
Will the studio be warm enough in winter?
Yes – we have upgraded the radiators and have a new thermostat to ensure that we can maintain an ambient temperature in the studio throughout the year.
Will I be able to use a monitor?
As at Orsman Rd, those who wish to work with a monitor may bring one into the studio for personal use. As previously mentioned, we will have a strict clear-desk policy and these monitors will need to be cleared from the desks at the end of each day. We will provide safe storage units for these monitors. We will also have a small bank of monitors that will be available to borrow.
Will the building work continue in term time?
Yes, there will be some building work during term time, however we will ensure that this occurs outside of teaching hours and does not disrupt our students.
Will there be storage for personal items?
Yes, we will provide storage lockers for students who wish to use them. These lockers will support the enforcement of the clean desk policy, but we will also request that these lockers are cleared regularly. Anything left in these lockers overnight will be left at the owner’s risk.