New London Architecture

10-18 Union Street, London, SE1


A new headquarter building for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to provide a global hub for women's health in central London.
Knowledge Networks: London and the Ox-Cam Arc

Knowledge Networks: London and the Ox-Cam Arc

The CBRE development team has worked closely with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) over the past five years to secure a new HQ building at 10-18 Union Street, London, SE1.

Following Bennetts Associates Architects appointment in 2017, CBRE and Bennetts Associates worked collaboratively to explore RCOG’s occupational needs and to help identify a suitable building in central London that would be aligned with the future aspirations of the organisation — to create a 'global hub for women’s health'. The team investigated how RCOG wanted to function as an organisation, the type and size of space they would need and considered different locations in London that might meet the brief. RCOG, advised by CBRE, secured 10-18 Union Street, SE1 in 2017. Located a short walk from Union Street is King's College London Guy’s campus; Guy's Hospital; the Gordon Museum of Pathology; the University College of Osteopathy, and the Royal College of Occupational Therapists — making this area of London Bridge and Borough a growing ‘medical knowledge quarter’.

 RCOG’s 10-18 Union Street comprises two existing adjoining buildings set around an open courtyard, the South building is a modern 1980’s concrete-framed office building which adjoins a converted 19th century Victorian hop timber-framed warehouse to the north. The mix of workplace, events and education space required by RCOG meant the buildings needed to be able to bring people together to share ideas, experience, and knowledge.

 Bennetts Associates designed a helical staircase as the key architectural feature to connect both buildings located within a new central space: a semi-glazed covered atrium. This architectural intervention has created a knowledge staircase where people move between the buildings and meet more frequently, and an atrium space where both public visitors and RCOG staff can stop and interact.

 The new RCOG also comprises of a large 300-person capacity events space; a member’s lounge; a public café; a library, as well as open plan workspace for RCOG’s staff — all of which flow seamlessly across the existing buildings. The building was opened in February 2020.

 ‘It is rare in architecture to be involved with a project from the competition-winning stage to practical completion. Fortunately, I could achieve this with RCOG. Getting to build a close working relationship with a medical Royal College is rewarding in itself, but to work with exceptionally talented colleagues to refurbish historic buildings and design a new architectural intervention in the heart of the project has been incredible. We are delighted to see our covered atrium and feature helical stair become reality — befitting an end-user client who put their trust in us to deliver something memorable and visually stimulating.’
Jade Chau, Associate, Bennetts Associates

Project information






5400 sq m


February 2020


10-18 Union St, London SE1 1SZ, UK

Team Credits


Bennetts Associates

Project Manager

Burke Hunter Adams





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