PLP Architecture has designed two key buildings in Imperial College’s new White City Campus in West London: Thinkspace, an office and technology start-up hub that opened in 2017, and Eighty-Eight Wood Lane, a 34-storey residential tower. The tower provides accommodation for lecturers, researchers, and trainee doctors along with their families - all helping the college to attract and retain talented staff. The project reinforces the college’s vision to create a new masterplan integrating academic uses with office, residential and retail buildings. The tower and the surrounding urban quarter form an ecosystem of academic and private entrepreneurship that defines a new focal point for science and technology companies in London.
The building stands on a constricted urban site along two busy thoroughfares – The Westway and Wood Lane – forming a protective buffer between the motorway and the quiet campus that sits beyond. The tower’s compact footprint allows space for a green urban pocket park at its base which 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 as well as a series of cascading balconies to the east. The building is clad in glass with terracotta tiles, interspersed with clear horizontal bands that divide it into four distinct vertical villages. Floor-to-ceiling glazing ensures all apartments are bright and well-lit. Windows are operable to enable natural ventilation to be utilised as a primary form of cooling. The main lifts are housed within a glazed volume that runs the height of the building, animating the façade and enabling further connections between occupants and the surrounding neighbourhood.
Imperial College London / Voreda
12 Storey Technology Transfer Space and Commercial Office Accommodation
Professor David Gann CBE Vice-President
(Development & Innovation)