Institution of Civil Engineers HQ
Remodelling an historic institution to reflect and enhance its global status
The Institution of Civil Engineers is a leading global organisation with over 80,000 members.
Beep Studio was invited to present proposals for enhancing their HQ building in London's Whitehall, opening it up to a wider public and celebrating achievements in engineering.
The ICE started almost 200 years ago as an informal club, meeting in back rooms of coffee houses before eventually moving to a purpose-built HQ. In recent years, the old-world 'clubhouse' mood projected by the building has fallen noticeably out of step with the forward-thinking nature of the organisation, and the ICE is looking to tailor a series of existing rooms to better fulfil the needs of its members.
Beep Studio's proposal:
- Reflects the ICE's online image of energy, equality and openness.
- Expresses the joy in material, structure and scale that draws people to engineering.
- Create an amazing story from the engineering challenge of the installation itself.
The focus of the design is the Gallery, which is arranged around a sequence of inspiring large scale artefacts, including:
- A walk-through section of London's Bazalgette sewers
- A drilling head from the Channel Tunnel
- Large scale chunks of materials
- Large-scale models of wonders of civil engineering.
These artefacts form a trail through the building, which emerges onto the street as a beacon, encouraging visitors to enter. A large piece of the installation hovers at the centre of the foyer, creating a 'wow' moment and drawing people up into the gallery to see how it is suspended in place.
The ICE contains a cafe in its basement, which looks out into an outdoor sunken 'area' below pavement level. The proposal opens the cafe into this area, removing the heavy masonry and holding up the facade above on a deep steel beam