© Ali Moshiri
© Ali Moshiri


Tanaka Building - Imperial College Business School



Order Volume

110 m²


Foster + Partners
Artist: Per Arnoldi





Tanaka Building - Imperial College Business School

London, Great Britain

Media Wall in London - OKACOLOR: New glass coating process at Tanaka Business School designed by Foster and Partners

When you enter the completely redesigned foyer of Tanaka Business School in the tradition-steeped Imperial College London, your eye is caught immediately by the 110 square metre glass surface behind the reception desk. Set on a deep blue, an over-dimensional cross-section of a brain appears to vibrate in strong shades of red and yellow. The metaphor of Danish artist Per Arnoldi for creative brainwork in the campus stands in clear contrast to the language of the other materials in the lofty foyer. A huge stainless steel drum with seminar rooms inside it sprawls over six floors to the transparent glass ceiling. The floor of the reception hall is laid with grey granite.

Per Arnoldi – who has been working closely with Lord Foster for ten years and who developed the colour concept of the Reichstag in Berlin – used the scan of a brain taken by a professor in the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial as the template for his work of art. For Arnoldi, the glimpse into a brain at the entrance to the College points in two directions: to the brilliant minds among the teaching staff at this renowned institution and to the students who come here to learn and want to fill up their heads. The main entrance, as the interface between the inside and the outside, is predestined for this symbol of the Business School.



The characteristic coloration of the stylized brain cross-section was created by means of a special glass coating. OKACOLOR – a new method developed by insulation glass manufacturers OKALUX, Markt­heidenfeld – gives the designer a virtually unlimited choice of lightfast colours which can be applied in high resolution. The Media Wall at Tanaka Business School reflects the great design potential of this new method.