London, United Kingdom
“Too many hospitals are disorientating, scale-less and lacking in daylight,” states Senior Founding Partner, Fred Pilbrow.
“They make the experience of a hospital visit more stressful and add to patient anxiety.”
“At UCLH Phase 5, we wanted to do something very different with logical patterns of circulation and generous daylit spaces. The health and well-being of the clinical staff were of equal importance and support spaces also benefit from daylit social spaces and circulation.”
Pilbrow & Partners designed this state-of-the-art ear, nose, throat and dental specialist facility at the University College London Hospital (UCLH) for the University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
UCLH Phase 5 marks the latest addition to the hospital’s main campus regeneration, replacing two vacant former buildings on site to provide a specialist, modern hospital facility in central London.
Located on Huntley Street, near Euston, the site sits at the heart of the Bloomsbury Conservation Area, adjacent to listed residential neighbours.
A recessed roof terrace provides a landscaped garden for both staff and patients.
UCLH Phase 5 co-locates diagnostic and treatment facilities with other trust departments to reduce waiting times and the need for additional appointments, enhancing the visitor experience by generating better patient pathways to improve clinical outcome.
The new building offers clinical, organisational and programme benefits as well as improvements to the townscape.
Traditionally, such buildings are planned with clinical spaces at the facade and waiting areas at the core.
The internal strategy for UCLH Phase 5, by contrast, inverts this organisation with examination rooms and teaching spaces located centrally and waiting areas on the street façade, set in a range of bay windows.
The form and detail of these bays offer a contemporary reinterpretation of the bays of the adjacent 19th century mansion blocks.
A welcoming, spacious entrance lobby, accessible from the front or back of the building, brings natural light into the building interior and creates the impression of a hotel lobby, rather than a hospital waiting room.
The building façade comprises 248 prefabricated bays, each 5.5m wide, composed as a hybrid of traditional hand-made bricks, precast concrete, aluminium and glass.
Each of the 160,000 bricks was hand made through traditional techniques to achieve material and colour consistency, lending a solid character in the views from the conservation area.
By contrast, views from the hospital campus, looking south, are more transparent where the full-height glazing of each bay is prominent.
Internally, the bays help UCLH to invert the traditional model of hospital layout, organising the waiting areas on the street façade set into the deep windows, allowing patients and visitors to wait in natural daylight with views across Bloomsbury.
The perforated brickwork protects the interior from southern solar gain.
The Hospital recently opened and pulls together the specialised treatments formerly provided by the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital (RNTNEH) and the Eastman Dental Hospital (EDH) which collaboratively support over 200,000 outpatient appointments per year.
Project: UCLH Phase 5
Architects: Pilbrow & Partners
Executive Architects: BMJ Architects
Client: University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust