New London Architecture

Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children

Built

Designed for Great Ormond Street Hospital and UCL, the 13000sqm Zayed Centre for Research is the world’s first purpose built paediatric centre for research and treatment of rare disease.
NEW LONDON AWARDS 2020

NEW LONDON AWARDS 2020

Shortlisted in the Caring category
Winners will be announced from 2nd November 2020

Peoples Choice Award
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Knowledge Networks: London and the Ox-Cam Arc

Knowledge Networks: London and the Ox-Cam Arc

At the Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children, Stanton Williams has reimagined the healthcare environment as an engaging civic experience in the heart of London.

 Designed for Great Ormond Street Hospital and University College London, the building combines pioneering research with clinical care, promoting a bench-to-bedside model of translational research. The 13,000sqm project is the first purpose-built centre of its kind in the world. Inspired by the prominent location opposite Coram’s Fields — a site dedicated for over 250 years to the wellbeing of children — Stanton Williams created a public-facing building that invites views into the 600sqm lower ground floor laboratories from the street. Inside, the design combines robust laboratory and research facilities with welcoming outpatient accommodation. Throughout, specially commissioned artwork by Great Ormond Street Hospital’s Arts programme, enhances the environment for researchers, clinical staff, patients and families alike. Responding to its sensitive context within the Bloomsbury Conservation Area, Stanton Williams designed a calm and dignified building with vertical fins of sandblasted terracotta arranged across the highly glazed, north-facing main elevation. These rhythmic elements give the building a solid appearance when viewed obliquely, while those inside reap the benefit of the generous natural light.

 Everyone — both patients and staff — enters across a bridge over the laboratories, where scientists are visible working on new treatments and cures. A prominent artwork by Mark Titchner above the laboratories, and a DNA-inspired lighting installation by Stanton Williams in the reception, further engage with those passing by outside.

 By utilising the lower ground floor for the laboratories, Stanton Williams was able to make optimum use of the site. The main plant is located beneath the laboratories, while additional plant at roof level serves a clean room facility on the top floor for developing genetic treatments. The eight-level building is organised around two atria ‘hearts’. The largest is in the research zone and connects the laboratories at lower ground level to three levels of desk-based research space on upper floors. Interaction and chance encounters are encouraged by views across the spaces and via staircases leading up through the atrium to the staff café, and beyond into the workspace. The atrium is animated by a kinetic sculpture by Random International, which responds to its surrounding and engages with visitors in real time.

The second, more domestic-scaled atrium forms the heart of the outpatient zone. Here, children can engage with science and health issues through interactive play installations while they wait for their appointments. Further waiting areas on the first floor overlook Coram’s Fields, reinforcing the connection with the surrounding cityscape.

Stanton Williams created a non-clinical aesthetic throughout the building through generous access to views and natural light and the use of warm and tactile materials such as terrazzo, oak, and exposed concrete, which nonetheless meet stringent infection control requirements.

 ‘Too often healthcare and science are seen as specialisms disconnected from everyday life and the culture and society they serve. Re-establishing these connections, and celebrating the often-invisible work of researchers and clinicians, is now more important than ever. The Zayed Centre for Research seeks to make these connections visible, engaging health and care as part of our shared urban experience. It places human experience and wellbeing at the heart of the scientific and clinical environment, and fosters collaboration and the exchange of ideas and information in the delivery of ground-breaking treatment and translational research.’
Gavin Henderson, Principal Director, Stanton Williams

Project information

Status

Built

Borough

Camden

Size

13090 sq m

Completion

October 2019


Location

20 Guilford St, Holborn, London WC1N 1DZ, UK


Team Credits

Architect

Stanton Williams

Client

Great Ormond Street Hospital and UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Heal

Contractor

Skanska

Other

Mechanical, Electrical, Public Health, Fire, Lighting and Acoustics: Hoare Lea

Structural Engineer

Pell Frischmann

Other

Sustainability and BREEAM: Hoare Lea

Cost Consultant

Gardiner & Theobold LLP

Project Manager

Gardiner & Theobold LLP

Quantity Surveyor

Gardiner & Theobold LLP

Other

Access Consultant: All Clear Designs

Landscape Architect

Bradley-Hole Schoenaich Landscape

Facade Engineer

Eckersley O’Callaghan

Other

Traffic Engineers: Pell Frischmann

Other

Healthcare Planning and ADB Consultant: MJ Medical

Other

GMP Validation Consultant: Exmoor Pharma

Other

Arts Consultant: GOSH Arts

Other

Artists: Dana Al Mazrouei, Mark Titchner, Random International

Planning Consultant

DP9

Other

Educational and Interactive Installations: Designmap

Other

Medical Equipment and Furnishings: MTS Health

Other

Rights of Light, Daylight and Sunlight Consultant: GVA Schatunowski Brooks

Other

Arboriculturist: Simon Jones Associates

Other

Ecology Consultant: Ecology Solutions

Other

Principal Designer: Turner & Townsend


Last updated on

09/10/2020


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