Imperial College Faculty of Engineering
Imperial College London appointed Foster + Partners to masterplan the South East Quadrant of their campus at South Kensington and to implement the delivery of the masterplan with a view to maximising the real estate within the site.
The South East Quadrant is majorly occupied by various engineering departments and consists of a collection of fairly disparate existing buildings constructed in the 1960s. The project aims to upgrade the existing facilities to deliver a united Faculty of Engineering with facilities commensurate with their position at the forefront of education and research.
The project involves the renovation and extension of a number of existing buildings together with a substantial new build block which fronts Exhibition Road. The new building will house the Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering departments and physically connect with the existing Civil and Mechanical Engineering departments uniting the primary engineering disciplines in a Faculty of Engineering.
The new build element of the proposed scheme consists of two distinct blocks as both a response to the architectural requirements for such a long stretch of street frontage and the functionality of the building. This building will become the new public face of Imperial College and the highest level of design and quality are demanded. Planning was also a key issue with the buildings being located on the boundary of Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea. The office block to the south is an eight-storey building with floor levels similar to those of the retained Mech Eng Building. The north block is the research block and will also hold the dramatic new main entrance into the building. The upper levels in this building contain research laboratories where the vibration performance of the floor is critical. Beneath both blocks there will be two levels of basement.
A number of enabling works packages were required to facilitate replanning of internal spaces and decanting of various departments within university ahead of the construction of the main works. This added considerably to the complexity of the project and required new services to be installed alongside existing live services with all structural alteration works being executed within an operational building.
Refurbishment and extension of Imperial College engineering faculty, with a connected new-build addition
Foster + Partners, Sheppard Robson
£ 275 million