When Imperial College London was founded in 1907, it was through the merger of a number of smaller scientific & engineering teaching institutions. For the next century, it continued to grow with additional incorporation of medical institutions, smaller colleges, additional campuses, athletic sites, field stations, and even a working mine.
When asked to design something to display in the College Café, a busy public space in the main entrance of Imperial College London, I decided to create a cartographically inspired overview of all the physical locations “Imperial” has been through the years.
The typography and palette were created to differentiate between the “Past” institutes and locations through the “Present”. Current Campuses are indicated by large cursive black titles, such as “South Kensington Campus” and black/navy buildings marked on the maps. Past institutes and former colleges that merged with Imperial are in capitalized smaller blue titles, such as “Royal School of Mines” as well as cyan buildings marks on the maps.
Large sketches of key buildings were added to the panels to illustrate a few of the many interesting architectural landmarks. They range from buildings we no longer occupy in the present through to ones that are in the process of being built such as the new 25-acre White City Campus. To discover the exact location of many of these sites took over a year of research on a century of old magazines, books, and newspapers.
From the coasts of Cornwall to the shores of Singapore, Imperial has a rich and amazing footprint.
Concept and art direction: Beth Elzer
Archive research support: Anne Barrett, Imperial archivist
Cartograhic map illustrations: Camille Rousseau
This project was honored with a UCDA Award of Excellence for Innovative Strategy.