Zayed Centre for Research

  • area / size 139,930 sqft
  • Completed 2019
  • Location London, England,
  • Stanton Williams has completed a space to pioneer treatments and cures for children suffering with complex and rare diseases at the Zayed Centre for Research in London, England.

    The new facility is a partnership between Great Ormond Street Hospital Foundation Trust, University College London and Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. The prominent 13,000 sqm purpose-built facility in central London brings together for the first time around 500 researchers and clinical staff.

    The public-facing research facility in the heart of London’s Knowledge Quarter is conceived as a holistic space where science, city and human lives come together. Inside, the Zayed Centre for Research is organised around two connected ‘hearts’, an outpatient zone and a research zone, each planned as layered volumes around a daylit atrium. Across eight storeys the building provides academic research workspace, seminar and meeting spaces, specialist laboratories, and outpatient clinics for children and young people.

    With its prominent presence next to 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 healthcare.

    At the base of the building is a 600 sqm double-height principal laboratory, visible from all sides within the Zayed Centre for Research as well as from the street outside. A shared single entrance bridge, which passes above these laboratories, welcomes both research staff and patients, drawing them into a central atrium, flooded with light. A transparent ground floor gives visibility and prominence to the activities inside the laboratories, while carefully articulated terracotta fins and glazing address and reflect Coram’s Fields and the changing sky – expressing the civic significance of this ground-breaking institution.

    A sense of openness and generosity dissolves the ‘clinical experience’ within. Encounters with ‘non-clinical’ surfaces, such as exposed concrete and European oak, create a calm and dignified environment for young patients and their families as they address their health issues: an environment shared with clinicians and researchers in the endeavour to understand and overcome the impact of life-changing diseases.

    The art programme responds to the design of the building and supports the aspiration to develop a space that facilitates chance encounters and exchanges between researchers and clinicians. Together and in different ways the artworks are a celebration of the collaborative and visionary nature of the Zayed Centre for Research.

    Architect: Stanton Williams
    Contractor: Skanska
    Photography: Hufton+Crow