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Architects appointed to design new UCL and Moorfields eye centre

AECOM, working with Penoyre & Prasad and White Arkitekter, have been chosen to design the new integrated eye care, research and education centre, for the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Hospital.

AECOM, working with Penoyre & Prasad and White Arkitekter, have been chosen to design the new integrated eye care, research and education centre, for the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Hospital.

The winning team was appointed following a comprehensive, six-month competitive process, led by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

The AECOM-led team will now be working closely with the Oriel project team to produce concept designs for this proposed new facility. Staff and patients will have an opportunity in the coming months to input on these initial design elements.

Professor Alan Thompson, Dean of the Faculty of Brain Sciences at UCL, said: "This represents another important step in this transformational joint project between UCL’s Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfield’s Eye Hospital.

“The competition was of very high quality and the selected design reflects an exciting opportunity to enable the joint working that will be critical in translating innovative research into effective new treatments to patients.”

At the end of 2018, five shortlisted architectural teams presented preliminary designs for the proposed new centre, which were to shown stakeholders, staff and patients at a series of exhibitions.

An evaluation panel comprising 12 representatives from UCL, Moorfields Eye Hospital, Moorfields Eye Charity and RIBA selected the AECOM led team winning team based on set criteria.

David Probert, Chief Executive of Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said:“It was a privilege to be on the evaluation panel of the five shortlisted design teams for Oriel. The quality of all entries was extremely high.

“AECOM’s award-winning team was selected due to their exemplary innovation and creativity, outstanding design quality, and previous experience in delivering health, research and education facilities across the UK.

“It has been a huge few months for this innovative and exciting project, with Moorfields recently securing a substantial amount of funding from the Department of Health and Social Care.

“I look forward to working with AECOM, Penoyre & Prasad and White Arkitekter as this project progresses.”

Dale Sinclair, Director of Technical Practice – Europe, Middle East and Africa from AECOM said: “AECOM is excited to be leading this experienced team of architects, engineers and specialists, who have a collective track record of delivering high-quality healthcare environments across the world. Together with Penoyre & Prasad and White Arkitekter we will work with the joint partners, patients and staff to design a world-class facility that will help shape the future of eye care, research and education.

“Our design for the proposed facility is focused on maximising collaboration and knowledge exchange, with an ‘oriel’ at the building’s centre enabling greater interaction between patients, clinicians and researchers. The facility’s public spaces would create a new urban realm that will connect seamlessly with the ongoing renaissance of the King’s Cross area of London.

“The AECOM-led team will now be working closely with the project team to produce concept designs for this proposed new facility. Staff and patients will have opportunities in the coming months to input on these initial design elements. This work will inform the project’s upcoming Outline Business Case.”

Oriel is a joint proposal from Moorfields Eye Hospital, UCL and Moorfields Eye Charity to relocate all services from Moorfields Eye Hospital on City Road and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology on Bath Street to a new, purpose built facility at a preferred site at St Pancras Hospital. This proposal will be subject to a public consultation with patients, families, carers and our local communities.

This new facility would bring together clinical care, research and education expertise in one flexible, fully integrated facility, while being focused on patients and attracting and retaining the best clinicians, scientists and educators. 

In 2019, Camden CCG will lead a public consultation on the relocation of NHS services from Moorfields Eye Hospital to the proposed new site.

If approved, the new facility could be open to patients in 2025/26, and would be near to other important health and research institutes such as UCL’s main campus, UCLH, Great Ormond Street Hospital, and the new Francis Crick Institute, making Oriel part of an emerging scientific hub.