Imperial College in London, UK has doubled in size and activity in the last two decades. In maintaining its position and recognition as one of the premier world class universities the physical constraints of the main South Kensington campus in Central London led the College to identify a west London location for their continued expansion and future growth, and to remain at the forefront of scholarship, education and research in science, engineering, medicine and business.
The BBC’s reorganisation in Shepherds Bush, and the relocation of major parts of the Corporation to Salford offered the College a unique opportunity to purchase the BBC’s vacated ‘Woodlands’ site just north of Westway in White City, W12 and plan the creation of a new campus.
Aukett Swanke were awarded the prestigious commission to masterplan the College’s and London’s first new university campus after a design led competition which included several major, high profile international design practices. The Aukett Swanke masterplan vision creates a new west London campus for the College establishing a new vibrant, truly mixed use urban quarter within the wider environs which had been identified by the GLA as one of their key Opportunity Areas.
The masterplan also addresses the College’s strategy to provide a range of uses at the site, including post-graduate student accommodation, academic and technology transfer space, new flexible teaching and conference space together with other support facilities.
A ‘new square for London’ is formed at the heart of the composition, providing a ‘green lung’ for all to share and enjoy. New strategic links are formed to the London Underground stations of White City and Wood Lane to the south and a new pedestrian and cycle link is formed under the West London Line embankment, re-connecting White City with North Kensington more positively for the first time in over 100yrs.
Imperial West is a site of significant scale and the masterplan seeks to create a new campus development which plays a major role in the College’s expansion and growth over future decades.
Imperial College have now purchased further land to the south of Imperial West thus securing the College’s landholdings for long term expansion and grown well into the future. Focus for immediate development however continues at Imperial West (North), and next phases are already progressing with the Michael Uren Building and the residential tower coming forward. Aukett Swanke are also assisting the College with on-going strategic advice for the remainder of the campus.