Imperial College, London
The invited competition was to provide a new facility for the School of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering. It was undertaken by the directors of the practice in association with Hamilton Associates.
The concept was based on the three essential aspects of learning; gathering, sharing and assimilation of knowledge. The large open plan undercroft is where the research and data gathering is undertaken in wind tunnels and flight simulators. Above this space, the data is shared in auditoria visible from Exhibition Road. Above the auditoria are spaces for the academic staff where the knowledge is assimilated.
To increase the environmental efficiency of, the building, it acts as a solar collector coupled with an Aquifer Thermal Energy Store. This system ensures the proposal can provide 30% renewable energy. The thermal mass of the concrete frame is utilised to store and control heat release into the spaces.