Launched in March this year by RIBA Competitions on behalf of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, the competition sought teams with the capacity and imagination to design and deliver a scheme that would enhance the Trust’s reputation for healthcare provision and its landmark status in London. At the same time, the design needed to address existing fabric issues. The East Wing building has a significant presence on the London skyline and the competition sought to achieve a re-cladding design of exemplary quality befitting its prominent location within the city.
Architects and contractors were required to collaborate from day one, and the competition followed a multi-stage process. At the final stage teams were invited to come up with design concepts that would provide a re-cladding solution for the building that would also enhance the internal environment by addressing water ingress, improve insulation and increase energy efficiency.
The Hopkins/ISG winning design is a single skin of glass, with a timber mullion and stainless steel external pressure cap, which creates a thermal buffer zone and two new triangular atria. The judges thought this to be a thorough and well thought through proposal with the potential to achieve a significant transformation in the image of the hospital, both externally and internally with generous atria spaces which would enhance the experience for patients and staff.
Speaking of the winning design, RIBA Adviser and Jury Panel member David Henderson, Co-director of Bennetts Associates said “The winning team has developed a proposal which is intelligent, stylish, appropriate and convincing at all levels from its construction strategy to its approach to sustainability. It will transform, not just the East Wing but the whole surrounding environment.”
The competition allowed teams to engage with the client team with one-to-one briefing sessions held mid-way through the design phase. An extensive consultation exercise was held before the final judging session.
Alastair Gourlay, Programme Director for Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, said “We recognised that re-cladding a building that will be fully occupied in the centre of one of London’s largest teaching hospital close to the Houses of Parliament and Lambeth Palace was going to be difficult. The quality of the design submissions was beyond our expectations and our team really enjoyed the time we had with each of the competitors. The winning design is a stunning response to the brief and was the most popular in the public consultation. It will be a great asset for St Thomas’ Hospital that will significantly enhance the building for staff and patients alike.”
Mike Taylor of Hopkins Architects, said “We are delighted to have the opportunity this appointment offers to work on the site immediately adjacent to our previous project, the Evelina Children’s Hospital. Our aim is to transform the current East Wing into a building worthy of Guy’s and St Thomas’ reputation as a world class hospital by redefining the envelope around the existing structure and thereby improving the environmental conditions internally. When complete the remodelled East Wing will hopefully feel like a brand new, high performance building which should serve as a timely demonstration of value and sustainability on a limited budget.”
Craig Tatton, ISG’s managing director, said “We are absolutely delighted to be selected as the winning team especially when you consider the high calibre of the competition. The whole selection process was an exemplar and perhaps more clients should consider a similar approach when selecting their construction teams. Guy’s & St Thomas are an important client for us and are considered one of the leading hospital trusts in the world. This win also continues the close relationship we have developed with Hopkins over the years, most recently at the Olympic Veledrome, and they are one of our closest design partners in the UK”.
The other teams on the shortlist were :
Allford Hall Monaghan Morris/Galliford Try
David Morley Architects/Laing O’Rourke Construction Ltd
Denton Corker Marshall/Josef Gartner & Co Ltd UK Ltd
Grimshaw/Geoffrey Osborne Ltd
Penoyre & Prasad/BAM Construction