Imperial College Faculty Building - London

Foster + Partners
Date Built
Imperial College London
The Imperial College Faculty Building sits in a courtyard setting completely surrounded by college buildings built in the 1950s and 1060s.  It is the fourth building to be erected in response to the masterplan for the college drawn up by Foster + Partners.  Its purpose is to bring together under one roof the faculty of the college providing, as it does, " ... four levels of office accommodation, a combination of open-plan spaces around the central core and cellular offices at the buildings periphery. The two basement levels provide parking spaces for 30 cars and secure storage for 600 bicycles, satisfying the requirement for the entire campus."

On its own the building would catch your attention but surrounded by the rather drab concrete and glass buildings of a much earlier generation it literally glows.  As the RIBA website puts it, " ... this ink-blue building, with its apparent simplicity of form, is of a mix of some shock and pleasant surprise."

The cladding is made up of what the Foster + Partners website describes as, " ... a seemingly random distribution of opaque panels in three shades of vivid blue, chosen by the Danish artist Per Arnoldi, (which respond) .... to the path of the sun and the buildings shading requirements."  A gently sloping ramp passes through the building providing a short-cut through the campus.