Flagship facility is designed as a 'home from home' environment for children and young people
An artists's impression of the new building, which will bring cancer services together in a bespoke new child-friendly environment
Camden Council has granted planning permission for the new Children’s Cancer Centre at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
The clinical building, on Great Ormond Street itself, will be dedicated to caring for children and young people from across the UK and beyond with rare and difficult-to-treat cancers.
Designed by BDP for the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust, the new centre will mean children are treated together, in a bespoke environment, designed to meet their needs, with a focus on play and physical and educational activities alongside medical treatment.
The building will include cancer wards, cancer daycare, new theatres, and an intensive care unit.
It will also house new imaging equipment and a specialised chemotherapy pharmacy.
Architect principal at BDP, Benedict Zucchi, said: “Conceptually, the design plays with ideas of ‘house’ and ‘garden’, with conscious allusions to home life scattered throughout the building.
“These themes allowed the team to focus on redefining the sense of scale throughout the project, which informed a more-intimate, child-friendly dimension.
To be able to give this world-leading children’s hospital and its employees more space, and better working and healthcare environments, means so much to our whole multidisciplinary team and we are so delighted to have received conditional planning permission
“This approach has assisted in changing the perception of the cancer centre, bringing it in line with the varying dimensions of surrounding buildings, and remaining sympathetic to the residential character of the wider neighbourhood.”
Many of the design concepts evolved from early-stage consultations with GOSH’s Young Person’s Forum, a group of patients.
And the most-popular theme expressed by the forum was ‘nature’, followed by ‘home away from home’, and ‘indoor-outdoor’.
Zucchi said: “The design concept, which evolved through intensive engagement with patients, families, and staff, not only gives the hospital state-of-the-art cancer facilities, but also a welcoming new entrance and a rooftop garden for the enjoyment of everyone.
“To be able to give this world-leading children’s hospital and its employees more space, and better working and healthcare environments, means so much to our whole multidisciplinary team and we are so delighted to have received conditional planning permission.”
This approach has assisted in changing the perception of the cancer centre, bringing it in line with the varying dimensions of surrounding buildings, and remaining sympathetic to the residential character of the wider neighbourhood
The need for the new centre is pressing: last year 1,200 children visited GOSH to have specialist treatment for cancer, instances of cancer continue to increase, and childhood cancer remains the leading cause of death in children aged 1-14 years old.
“This will put us in a strong position to deliver the very best care”, said Matthew Shaw, hospital chief executive.
“We are delighted that Camden Council’s planning committee resolved to grant planning permission for our plans for the new Children’s Cancer Centre.
“This is an important step towards more children and young people being able to receive care and treatment in the best-possible environment.
“This new centre will put us in a strong position to build on the decades of work undertaken by our clinicians and the researchers from our academic partner ICH to deliver the very best, kindest, and effective treatments for cancer.”
He added: “The hospital’s existing cancer facilities were built many years ago and do not reflect modern healthcare.
“At times this is challenging, with some cancer clinics in buildings from the 1930s, and services are scattered across the hospital campus.
This is an important step towards more children and young people being able to receive care and treatment in the best-possible environment
“Our co-location with ICH and other research partners allows us to get new cancer treatments to patients rapidly, and we intend for our new facilities to allow us to expand this ground-breaking work.”
The trust and BDP will now work with Camden Council and the Greater London Authority to secure full planning permission.
It is expected that the deconstruction and construction programme will take around three years to complete.