The £ 50m building, in Waterloo, was given the go-ahead at the Lambeth Council’s Planning Committee meeting on Tuesday (October 5) and will connect to Hopkins’ Evelina Children’s Hospital, which was shortlisted for the 2006 Stirling Award.
The scheme will provide 100 new beds, specialized imaging facilities and 14 operating rooms on a 0.3 hectare triangular plot, providing more space for patients and families to relax, including a new roof terrace.
Historic England had objected to the scheme due to concerns about its impact on the Westminster World Heritage Site, which consists of Westminster Palace, Westminster Abbey and St Margaret’s Church.
The heirloom argued that the view of the Palace of Westminster from Westminster Bridge would be reduced and the architectural dialogue between St Thomas’ Hospital and the palace would be damaged by the extent of the new building.
In a report recommending approval, Lambeth’s planning officers said they had ‘carefully considered’ Historic England’s objections, but did not believe the proposal would harm the heritage area.
The new building will have a double-height entrance, with the lower part of the façade reflecting local red brick buildings and the upper part — which will be visible from the Palace of Westminster on the other side of the river — matching a Portland stone context.
The number of children and young people seen at the hospital has doubled since it opened 16 years ago, and it is now set to take on specialized cardiopulmonary services, currently based at Royal Brompton Hospital, after consultation.
Hawkins Brown is working with developer Linkcity, as well as with fit-out architect NBBJ and engineer AECOM, who designs and delivers the million-pound fit-out and clinical planning for the new wing.
Evelina London opened on Westminster Bridge Road in 2005 and brought together pediatric services at St Thomas and Guy’s hospital. The new hospital wing is expected to open in six years.
Hawkins Brown partner Ewan Graham said: ‘St Thomas’ Hospital is a prominent and much-loved London landmark. We made sure to design a groundbreaking children’s hospital shaped according to the characteristics of its historic surroundings, while promoting health, well-being, comfort and improved clinical outcomes.
‘The new building will stand as a symbol of London’s commitment to our children and future generations and ensure that we provide the very best opportunities to some of our youngest people at a time when they need it most.’
Evelina London Director Marian Ridley added: ‘This is a big step for us-it will allow us to continue with our exciting plans to develop the hospital into a world-leading center for life-changing care for even more children, young people and their families. ‘
The architect’s view
In response to the sensitive local context, the lower levels of the building reflect Lambeth’s traditional red brick, open up views of the hospital’s geometry and enhance the public area. The nine floors above ground are designed to respond to the larger urban scale and act as an urban marker for the area.
Internally, the building connects directly and is designed with adaptable floorboards to meet the ever-changing clinical and research needs of a modern hospital.
The new entrance forms an accessible and friendly welcome in a revitalized public area. Curved geometry in the corners softens the edges of the building and affects the relationship to the curved atrium and stair cores of the original Evelina London building.
Protected roof gardens will hit the views out over London and provide spaces where children can play safely, parents can gather their thoughts and staff can enjoy moments of tranquility.
Client Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and Evelina London
General contractor Bouygues
Architect Hawkins Brown
Structural and civil engineer Rambøll
Landscape architect BD
Planning consultant Montagu Evans
Interdisciplinary engineer AECOM
Townscape consultant Peter Stewart Consultancy
Fit-out designer NBBJ