The Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) site is located in Bloomsbury, 1km south of Kings Cross station and within walking distance of Russell Square and Holborn underground stations.
In 1852, Dr Charles West founded the Hospital for Sick Children within a large existing Georgian house at No.49 on the north side of Great Ormond Street. The hospital site has been constantly evolving since 1852 and is the only exclusively specialist children’s hospital in the UK delivering the country’s widest range of specialist health services for children on one site.
In 2015 the Trust produced a masterplan following extensive discussions with the London Borough of Camden. The purpose of the masterplan is to guide the redevelopment of two-thirds of the hospital site, allowing GOSH to care for children and their families in safer, more comfortable environments with new facilities appropriate for world-class paediatric care and research. This has included The Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children, which recently welcomed the first outpatients through its doors for treatment. You can click here to read more about the Zayed Centre for Research. Additionally the GOSH Sight and Sound Centre, opened in the former Italian Hospital on Queen Square in 2021 following an extensive refurbishment and modelling of the historic building.
The next stage will see the redevelopment of the Frontage Building and main entrance of the hospital on Great Ormond Street itself. The Frontage Building is in the greatest need of redevelopment and can provide GOSH with the necessary space for the Children’s Cancer Centre.
The Children’s Cancer Centre will include high quality, inspiring and flexible spaces that are both welcoming and a platform for the delivery of the safest, most effective, and efficient care using the latest technology.
The plans for the CCC include:
The building is being designed by award winning architecture firm BDP, who are highly experienced at designing children’s acute health facilities across the UK.
One of GOSH's most distinguishing features is its urban setting within Bloomsbury. To inform the design of the scheme, an extensive review of the character and townscape has been undertaken.
The GLA design team and the Camden design review panel (DRP) both concluded that the building design is appropriate for the site and will contribute positively to the surrounding area, including the Conservation Area, and confirmed that the scheme's height and massing are appropriate for the context.
The design reflects the Trust's ethos of making patients and families feel comfortable and safe by creating a welcoming environment from the moment they set foot in the new building, whether they are travelling from the UK or further afield.
Children and young people have been consulted since the earliest concept stage of the project and their aspiration that Great Ormond Street shouldn’t feel like a hospital, as well as a desire to maintain a connection with nature and the outside world, have shaped BDP’s design thinking.
The developing designs for the Children’s Cancer Centre build on the themes of ‘House’, ‘Hospital’ and ‘Garden’. The ‘House’ is representative of a reassuring sense of home away from home. The ‘Hospital’ refers to GOSH as a special place with a serious clinical purpose. The ‘Garden’ relates to indoor-outdoor spaces that provide relief from the clinical environment and the potential for play and interaction.
The ideas of ‘House’ and ‘Garden’ help to provide a more intimate and child-friendly sense of scale and are central to the organisational strategy of the design proposals. Wards will be arranged in bedroom clusters, or 'houses' that face the street and wrap around central support spaces. This maximises outward facing curtilage for patient accommodation, ensuring views out and daylight in.
The ‘garden’ spaces in-between the 'houses' provide relief from the clinical environment for staff, patients and their families, break up the building's massing on the street and provide a green infrastructure that faces Great Ormond Street.
In response to the prevailing material finishes of the area, the ‘houses’ are proposed in brickwork. The articulation of the street facing facades relate to common design principles of nearby institutional buildings including the neighbouring Paul O’Gorman building. Features include a clear base, middle and top, window openings with a vertical emphasis, and the clear expression of horizontal bands, all contributing to a reduced perception of scale.
Landscape proposals have been developed around the theme of ‘healing gardens’. They also build on the Bloomsbury tradition of urban gardening that remains a prominent feature of the neighbourhood through personalised window and street planting. In addition to ‘garden’ bays between the ward ‘houses’, a proposed roof garden spanning the length of the proposal is designed to provide a variety of active and calm spaces to ensure inclusion for all ages and medical conditions. Planting palettes have been developed to provide seasonal gardens that maintain interest all year round.
GOSH is committed to both sustainable development and sustainable operations and is targeting a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’. BREEAM (Building Research Establishment's Environmental Assessment Method) is an internationally respected method used for assessing sustainability in construction.
The Trust has already achieved significant reductions in its carbon footprint and is developing plans to reduce CO2 emissions further and to exceed the UK and Camden targets. Renewable energy sources, including air source heat pumps, will be used throughout the development to help reduce carbon emissions.
As part of GOSH’s commitment to sustainability the Trust aims to maximise the reuse of materials and minimise wastage wherever possible. It will also ensure the principles of the GOSH Clean Air Hospital Framework and Climate Emergency are considered at all stages of the redevelopment programme. Zero/low carbon methods of construction are also being explored with opportunities for low carbon innovative building materials being investigated.
A full survey of the Frontage Building will be carried out to ascertain which of the existing materials from the building can be reused within the scope of the Children’s Cancer Centre project, reused elsewhere or recycled.
Following the granting of planning permission in April 2023, we have been reviewing the project by way of design development and exploring refinements that can be made to the CCC for the benefit of our patients and neighbours. This includes opportunities to improve the design of the CCC, facilitate the PO’G building playing a greater role in the main hospital complex and improving clinical circulation to ensure we can provide the highest levels of care.
Further information relating to the proposed changes can be found by visiting the design updates page.