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|Location:||London, United Kingdom|
|Client:||Royal Free Charity, University College London and the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust|
|Awards:||RIBA Regional Award|
AIA UK Award
Building Better Healthcare Awards: Highly Commended, Projects Over £10m;
Brick Awards: Commended, Public Buildings;
Construction News Awards: Project of the Year (over £50M);
WAN Awards: Silver Award.
Professor Hans Stauss, Director of the ITT
This joint venture between UCL and the Royal Free Hospital, co-locates research and treatment facilities in a distinctive new building which signals its ambition.
One of only 5 specialist immunology centres in the world, the Pears Building enables UCL to deliver research excellence, and the Royal Free Hospital to provide local care combined with world class expertise to patients. Additionally, the building provides new offices for the Royal Free Charity and its volunteers, and a new 35-bed Patient Hotel for outpatients or visiting academics requiring an overnight stay.
The Pears Building accommodates over 200 researchers working in the translational field. Healthy working environments and world class facilities have been designed to attract and retain the brightest and the best. Opportunities for spontaneous interaction are built-in, with strong visual connectivity between departments. Lab and write-up spaces are arranged around a central atrium which incorporates generous circulation, break-out spaces and booths to support professional collaboration as well as socialising. A cranked plan allows daylight and sunlight to penetrate a deep plan.
A large atrium operates as the active heart of the building. A new entrance and café are open to public, visitors and staff to create an accessible identity for both Institute and the wider Hospital. Materials have been chosen for context, durability, thermal performance, sustainability credentials, ease of maintenance and cost.
Our approach to this maximised the opportunity to improve public circulation routes, provide new landscaped public realm and break down the potentially monolithic structure of many healthcare building into a welcoming, accessible and human scaled facility. The steeply sloping site is used to create a series of wide stepped and landscaped terraces at ground level with seating for building users and the wider public. Retained mature trees combine with new planting and hard landscaping to provide biodiversity as well as a distinctive sense of place.
Jon Spiers, Chief Executive, Royal Free Charity