SOM has been appointed to undertake the masterplanning for all of Imperial’s sites across London
SOM director of urban design and planning Dan Ringelstein told the AJ: ‘We have been appointed to create an overarching vision for the college and how it should grow.’
The multi-national practice will now take design control of Imperial’s assets at the BBC’s former HQ at White City in west London, as well as its existing campus at South Kensington and its hospital sites at Hammersmith and St Mary’s in Paddington.
The college recently expanded the White City site with the purchase of a 4.5 hectare plot from developer Helical Bar, for which Eric Parry Architects had previously gained planning consent for 1,150 homes.
The appointment of SOM spells the end of Parry’s involvement with the coveted plot – also known as Brickfields – which was to also feature 20,000m² of offices and 6,000m² of retail, leisure and community facilities.
On the White City site, SOM is instead working up a range of options for the nine hectares of land which is immediately south of London’s major A40 thoroughfare. Options include a mix of offices, research facilities, and student and private housing, although the amount of each has yet to be decided and images have not been revealed.
Aukett Fitzroy Robinson (AFR, now Aukett Swanke) has already completed a student accommodation block at the site and is currently working on a resarch hub.
SOM’s appointment will not affect work on phase two of AFR’s development. Ringelstein said that the ‘smaller, approved, Aukett Fitzroy Robinson scheme would be respected and incorporated into our wider scheme’.