Caroline Varnauskas, Lead Architect at White Arkitekter, said the project is set to transform how we provide the best levels of care for patients in the UK by strengthening collaboration between healthcare and academia. ‘Drawing on White’s significant research into healing environments, light and materiality, our evidence-based design supports recovery, while shaping a high-performance workplace for staff. From the beautiful atrium that welcomes all and the abundantly landscaped roof terrace that offers staff sweeping views across London, to the detailing, wayfinding and interiors that enhance the human experience – this is a place that has been designed with care throughout.”
Oriel is part of a wider masterplan for the five-acre St Pancras Hospital site with plans being brought forward separately by King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership (KCCLP) for mixed-use development on the remaining three acres of land.
The Treasury, the Department for Health and Social Care and NHS England / NHS Improvement have given the proposals the green light, which means that detailed work on designing the new centre can build momentum.
Health Minister Edward Argar said the grant of planning approval is an important next step, and part of the government’s support for the NHS. “We are backing our NHS and will be building a total of 48 hospitals by 2030, backed by an initial £3.7 billion.”
David Probert, chief executive of Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “Collaboration is key to this project and we are looking forward to continuing to work closely with our staff, patients and partners so that we build a new centre that is not only fit-for-purpose, but a beacon of excellence for patient-focused eye care.”
Professor Alan Thompson, Dean of the UCL Faculty of Brain Sciences, said: “World-class research, innovation and education merit a first-rate facility. Our new location in the heart of Camden’s Knowledge Quarter will maximise opportunities for collaborative working and bring us closer to colleagues in other UCL schools and faculties.”
“With common eye conditions expected to rise rapidly over the next 15 years, we need to plan for the future. Oriel promises to deliver a more collaborative working environment that will support our translational ‘bench to bedside’ research through the co-development of research and early involvement of clinicians and patients.”
Robert Dufton, Chief Executive at Moorfields Eye Charity, said: “It is an extremely exciting time for the partners in developing this new centre which will enable world-leading clinical care, research and education in eye health. Philanthropy is key to helping us make this global centre for advancing eye health a reality.
“We are delighted with the support we’ve received to date from donors and look forward to new and continuing conversations with others interested in helping us realising our vision.”