A sight for sore eyes

James Forryan
Wednesday 06 May 2009

Iconic new building for Moorfields Eye Hospital

This world-class, dedicated treatment centre combines the clinical expertise of Moorfields Eye Hospital with the research base of the adjacent Institute of Opthalmology, promoting fast transference of "bench to bedside" research findings. The new building creates a landmark facility in line with the hospital's international status and aspirations.

The client's mission was to provide the best functioning children's eye hospital in the world without it looking like a hospital. The centre provides outpatient clinics, day surgery, research facilities and overnight accommodation and addresses highly prescriptive clinicalrequirements without losing sight of a supportive environment. The design dispels preconceptions of hospitals to create an holistic, child-focused and welcoming environment.A potentially traumatic experience becomes a positive one, supported by a clear layoutgiving a sense of security, engaging colour schemes and large relaxation and play areas.

The constricted nature of the site, internal layout of clinics and necessary connections toexisting operating theatres and facilities, all contributed to a clear vertical arrangement.Externally the mass of the building is lifted clear above a largely glazed entrance containinga café and shops. Clinics are arranged above reception and enjoy views into a pocket park.Bridges cross a slot of space running up the building separating the lifts and stairs, acting asa pause prior to entering the clinical areas and introducing a sense of space and scale.

Overall, the design offers a textured and engaging experience, a sense of discovery foryoung patients who may find their treatment lasting for months or years. An integrated artprogramme includes lighting, interiors and the entrance façade which features an innovativearrangement of freely placed folded aluminium louvres minimising solar gain and creating aniconic street presence.

Key Facts:

United Kingdom

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