Imperial West Tower

When it purchased 4.7 hectares of land in the London district of White City, Imperial College London laid the cornerstone for the construction of its White City Campus in 2013. Ten new buildings were developed on this area and are used for research, teaching, shops and accommodation. The campus is easy to make out in the West London streetscape. Block F was designed as a 35-storey, 140-metre-tall residential building containing 198 flats for key members of the university staff; with its glass and terracotta surfaces, it gives a hint of the campus’ architecture from far and wide. The striking appearance stems from the countless individual structures that make up the approx. 2,400 facade panels.

The majority of the facade elements were designed to be 1.5 m in width and cladded with a combination of glass and terracotta panels. One unique hallmark of the building’s appearance is its tiered eastern side: every other floor forms a step from the glass facade, providing a terrace space for residents. Residents access their terraces through 2.8 x 3-metre sliding doors. On the floors in between, a steel construction was used to created balconies on the side, requiring a further bespoke design solution for the adjacent facade elements.

The new campus – which is the university’s first new campus in over a century – will become a lively new neighbourhood, integrating an academic programme with space for living, research and business in a premium public environment with restaurants, cafés, retail units and open landscaped space.

GU solution: Projecting Top-Hung window hardware for opening width of 30° with a special opening restrictor and AK 8 central locking