- Client: Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, Great Ormond Street NHS Foundation Trust and University College London, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (on behalf of Great Ormond Street NHS Foundation Trust and University College London)
- Mechanical, Electrical, Public Health, Fire, Lighting And Acoustics: Hoare Lea
- Façade Consultant: Eckersley O’Callaghan
- Health Care Planning And Adb Consultant: MJ Medical
- Gmp Validation Consultant: Exmoor Pharma
- Accessibility Consultant: All Clear Designs Ltd, All Clear Design
- Arts Consultant: GOSH Arts
- Main Contractor: Skanska
- City: London
- Country: United Kingdom
Text description provided by the architects. Dedicated to delivering world-class research together with new treatments and therapies, the Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children for Great Ormond Street Hospital Foundation Trust, University College London, and Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity is a pioneering pediatric facility of global significance. Combining leading research and outstanding outpatient care under one roof, Stanton Williams’ state-of-the-art building brings together, for the first time, 500 scientists, clinicians, and academics. Working together in a collaborative environment, they will partner in ground-breaking research: translating it into hope for children across the world.
Stanton Williams’ design reimagines the clinical setting as a shared civic experience, a holistic space where science, city, and human lives come together. With its prominent presence opposite Coram’s Fields – the former
site of the Foundling Hospital and a living symbol of children’s welfare for over 250 years – the Zayed Centre for Research is a new urban beacon of science and care.
The 13,000sqm public-facing research facility celebrates the often ‘invisible’ work of researchers and clinicians and their vital contribution to society. Placing science on show, a transparent ground floor gives prominence to the activities inside the laboratories, visible from all sides within the Centre as well as from the street outside.
The generosity of space, natural light, and sensory art uplift the Zayed Centre for Research into a shared human experience. Using a ‘non-clinical’ architectural language, the building offers unexpected civic qualities. It breaks away from the overwhelming journey of young patients and their families as they address health issues to create a calm and dignified environment: an environment shared with clinicians and researchers in the endeavour to understand and overcome the impact of life-changing diseases.
Wellbeing for patients, clinicians, and academics is key. The architecture achieves a feeling of spaciousness and generosity through an unexpected non-clinical palette of exposed concrete and natural oak. Daylight and views connect users through space: from framed vistas over adjacent green spaces to views into research laboratories.
Inside, the Zayed Centre for Research is organised around two ‘hearts’, an outpatient zone, and a research zone, each planned as layered volumes around their own daylit atrium. While clinical and collaborative research environments have their dedicated specialist areas, the building provides both physical and visual connections between the various functions and users through spaces, light, and materials.
The building is a prominent new addition to London’s Knowledge Quarter and the Bloomsbury Conservation Area. It sits just steps away from Great Ormond Street Hospital, UCL and is opposite Coram’s Fields – a living community symbol of philanthropy and the welfare of children
for over 250 years.
Coram’s Fields was the site of the Foundling Hospital founded in 1739 by philanthropist Thomas Coram to treat and care for disadvantaged children. An active music programme promoted by Handel and a public art gallery founded by Hogarth were part of the healing experience – a legacy that has synergy with the Zayed Centre for Research. Actively engaging with arts and public life, the Zayed Centre for Research also places science as part of the urban experience. Park and building enter in an open dialogue with the bustling life of the city.