Imperial College London has submitted a 87,900 sq m planning application to LB Hammersmith & Fulham for the balance of its regeneration proposals for the former BBC Woodlands site on Wood Lane. They have called the plans for the new campus “Imperial West”. Regularly ranked in the top 3 universities in the UK and among the top 10 in the world, Imperial is looking to expand its activities in west London. The college says the Imperial West scheme will provide “a new generation live/work environment bringing together a range of uses including academic and research facilities, with state-of-the-art commercial and residential space.”
It is hoped that the development of this new open access campus, will form a major element of the wider regeneration of the White City Opportunity Area, which is being promoted by the council and by the Greater London Authority, with the first phase of 606 postgraduate studios and nine homes for key workers already under construction.
The Masterplan proposals, designed by architects Aukett Fitzroy Robinson and PLP Architecture, include a “New Business Accelerator” which aims to deliver research and office launchpad space for new technology start-up businesses developed by the College’s technology transfer company, Imperial Innovations; as well as facilities for health and biomedical research; office space for College technology partner organisations; postgraduate research and teaching space for Imperial’s Graduate School to expand and consolidate in West London; and the construction of postgraduate accommodation on the site.
The plans also include a four-star hotel, some retail space, and new homes, with some earmarked for NHS and College key workers. There will be a new public square around the size of Soho Square at the heart of the development, which will help open up the site to public use.
John Anderson, Project Director for Imperial West, said; “Imperial West will enable the College to expand upon the success of its South Kensington site to create a second, open access academic campus that provides the physical infrastructure for world-class research and teaching, leading-edge facilities for business development and technology transfer, and create an attractive environment to live and work in.”
“Imperial West will provide real and lasting benefits for the capital, helping to grow the London economy, and has the capacity to generate and sustain over 3,000 jobs. “
The first phase of the development of the new Imperial West development, Wood Lane Studios, is well underway. Comprising 20,700 sq m, it will provide accommodation for 606 postgraduate students, together with family accommodation for Imperial researchers, lecturers and trainee doctors along the south of Shinfield Street. Phase 1 will be completed by August 2012 so that the accommodation will be available to postgraduate students in time for the start of the academic year 2012-13.
Imperial already has seven existing campuses in London, including its campus based on the Hammersmith Hospital site, which is 500 metres from the Imperial West site on Wood Lane, where a large community of Imperial postgraduate medical students and researchers is based.