London Centre for Nanotechnology

In Brief

UCL and Imperial College 


Construction value:

November 2005

The London Centre for Nanotechnology is a joint enterprise between UCL and Imperial College which aims to put British science at the centre of this increasingly important field.

The laboratory spaces, including a 200 square metre clean room, have exceptionally rigorous specifications with tightly controlled and stable environmental conditions. Much of the building houses highly sensitive instruments for the preparation and investigation of nanoscale structures and materials.

The base is clad in Portland Stone with large glazed openings and white clay bricks facing the rear courtyard elevation. The central portion consists of a ‘layered’ façade comprising an inner stainless steel rainscreen clad wall, and an outer layer of perforated stainless steel ‘brise soleil’. 

The building seeks to exploit the material characteristics of the double skin environmental façade to create a moiré pattern – moiré patterns being one of the tools first used by scientists to measure particles at the atomic scale.