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|Location:||London, United Kingdom|
|Client:||Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust|
This thirteen-storey East Wing tower sits in the centre of the St Thomas’ Hospital site, and is an important part of the estate accommodation, housing 200 intensive care beds together with clinical offices, teaching facilities and ancillary accommodation. Built in 1966 the tower was suffering from water ingress, excessive solar gain and inadequate lift capacity. With no available space for decant, the building would need to remain operational throughout any improvements.
Though weather beaten, the existing façade was composed of high quality materials such as natural slate, teak and stainless steel. Our competition-winning design minimised disruption to the ongoing operation of the hospital by retaining all of the existing façade, but adding a new layer of glass to create a double-skinned façade which acts as a year-round environmental buffer, reducing energy loads whilst improving comfort conditions.
Along the building’s river-facing façade a new outer layer sits 1 metre out and features fixed steel louvres to control solar gain. The resulting enclosed space has been fitted with large new windows offering dramatic views over the Houses of Parliament, and creating a flexible space for future needs. At the rear of the building, the new glazing has been taken across the corners of the T-shaped block, reducing the area of glazing required and moving construction work away from existing wards. Two new triangular atria, clad in western red cedar battens, accommodate bed lifts and services. At the base of each, new seating provides a peaceful waiting area.
Sustainable elements focus on improving patient comfort and the working environment for staff. A combination of natural ventilation, solar control glass and shading, and shading incorporated into ETFE roofs, has resulted in a 25% reduction in overall energy use.
These interventions have upgraded a tired building and extended its life for another 50 years, at a fraction of the cost of a new build. They also allow for a full internal refurbishment at a future date.