Acex & Bone
London, United Kingdom
Imperial College London
BMJ Architects undertook six phases of refurbishment of the ACEX and Bone buildings situated on ICL’s South Kensington site adjacent to the Knightsbridge Conservation Area and the listed Royal College of Music.
Refurbishment includes the overcladding of the existing buildings and provision of a new welcoming entrance. Fit-out within the building includes the Carbon Capture Pilot Plant, office research laboratory, teaching, seminar and breakout. A rooftop extension provides a new floor of flexible laboratory, office and seminar space for the department of Chemical Engineering.
The fit-outs were designed to provide modern, open plan, flexible space to support world class research activities and diverse teaching styles.
Challenge & Solution
In order to create high quality space within the restricted height of the 1960’s designed hall, physical and 3D CGI modelling was used to test and refine a design incorporating innovative thin slab construction and ventilation that maximised the ceiling height and created an entire new floor of accommodation. Phasing of the projects then followed in a well planned and considered manner.
Mitigation measures included scheduling works around sensitive periods such as exams, regular building occupier liaison and look- ahead meetings.
Innovation & Added-Value
The project also significantly improved access for people with accessibility issues with the replacement and upgrading of both the passenger and goods lift.
Upgrade to the external façade to meet statutory consequential improvements, was taken as an opportunity to provide new overcladding, render and windows to improve the frontage of the building.
The lessons learnt from each phase were fed into the succeeding phases so continual improvement over the course of the various developments could be realised. BMJ’s design team developed CGI images to assist with raising funds during the initial stages.