Imperial College’s vibrant new White City Campus sits on a high-profile site in West London. PLP Architecture have contributed two key buildings to this: Thinkspace, an office and technology start-up hub that opened in 2017, and Eighty-Eight Wood Lane, a 34-storey residential tower. The tower embraces the college’s vision of a vibrant mixed-use urban quarter integrating the academic programme with residential, research and commercial uses. It includes a variety of private and key worker accommodation - apartments for lecturers, researchers and trainee doctors and their families - all helping the College attract and retain talented staff.
The building stands on a constricted urban site along two busy thoroughfares – The Westway and Wood Lane – and forms a protective buffer between the motorway’s noise and pollution and the quiet campus that sits beyond. Its compact footprint has allowed for the creation of an urban pocket park around it, including hard and softscape with planted areas and new trees, and the entire development now serves as the main pedestrian gateway into the campus.
The tower’s form tapers as it rises, allowing for a variety of unit sizes and configurations. The building is clad in glass with terracotta tiles, interspersed with clear horizontal bands that divide it into four distinct vertical portions. Floor-to-ceiling glazing ensures flats are bright and well-lit while select flats also feature small balconies to provide additional outdoor space for residents. Most windows are operable to enable natural ventilation to be utilised as a primary form of building cooling.
The main lifts are housed within a glazed box that runs the height of the building, animating the façade and enabling further connection between occupants and the surrounding neighbourhoods. At its base, the glazed main entrance faces the intersection of the Westway and Wood Lane while ground floor retail space occupies the north and south sides.
Imperial College London / Voreda
35 Storey Residential