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1 June 2016

HOK-Designed Transformation of St Bartholomew’s Hospital Opens in London

St Barts Hospital_Credit HOK

The comprehensive redevelopment of Britain’s oldest operational hospital has been completed following an extensive 10-year modernization project designed by HOK and delivered by Skanska.

The project has created a specialist cancer and cardiac center with 700,000 square feet of new patient accommodation, consolidating all campus services. The facility is operated by Barts Health NHS Trust, the largest NHS Trust in England.

As Europe’s largest specialized cardiovascular facility, the Barts Heart Centre, which is currently the subject of additional work beyond the main contract completion, will provide comprehensive facilities including 10 operating theaters, 10 cardiac catheter laboratories, 165 cardiac beds, 58 critical care beds, 40 coronary care beds, 31 respiratory and 81 oncology beds plus extensive day care facilities. The restored, seven-story King George V building reflects the site’s rich history and is complemented by a landscape design that restores the neighboring square, designed by James Gibbs in the 1730s, to its former glory.

HOK’s approach to the Barts Heart Centre redesign focused on the needs of patients, staff, clinicians and visitors by integrating intelligent design principles to reduce stress and promote healing. This resulted in the creation of a central atrium space for ease of orientation; the incorporation of large windows with low sills to maximize natural daylight in occupied areas, including patient rooms and operating theaters; and artwork, in collaboration with Vital Arts, which improves the experience for patients while contributing to their well-being.

“Based on the historical importance of the building and the fact that the hospital remained open throughout the project, the redevelopment of the Barts Heart Centre was a highly complex project,” said Allison Wagner, an HOK regional Healthcare leader based in London. “Our design solutions ensure that the hospital is well-equipped to adapt to the Trust’s evolving clinical strategy and to advances in future healthcare provision.”

HOK’s design encourages collaboration among students, researchers and clinicians at this internationally renowned teaching facility. The state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment equipment and IT and communications infrastructure enable streamlined operations, mobile working and real-time diagnosis.

As part of the project brief, the Trust wanted to adopt a “one-stop-shop” approach to providing healthcare. This provided an opportunity to design efficient new patient pathways that create a “Continuum of Care.” The design transformed departmentally based services to provide shared diagnostic and treatment provision, locating inpatient floors directly above. By separating outpatients from inpatients and isolating facility management flows, HOK’s design minimizes travel distances, expediting patient transfer between departments and enhancing patient privacy.

Founded in 1123, St Bartholomew’s Hospital was re-founded by Henry VIII in 1546 with an agreement granting the hospital to the city of London. The original hospital complex contains multiple listed structures including the Grade I listed Gatehouse, Grade I listed North, East and West Wings, the Grade II Medical School and the Grade II* listed Church of St Bartholomew the Less. HOK’s design integrates these historic structures into a sympathetic new development, using Portland stone to complement the original facades.

HOK was the principal designer, lead consultant and architect of record for the Barts Heart Centre redevelopment. Services provided by HOK include master planning, lead design, landscape architecture, conservation architecture, construction documentation, medical planning, interior design and quality management.

Current and recent projects designed by HOK in London include the Francis Crick Institute opening in London in 2016; the Royal London Hospital, which forms part of a £1.1bn Private Finance Initiative along with St Bartholomew’s Hospital; the delivery of Papworth Hospital in Cambridge on which HOK and Skanska continue their collaborative relationship; and the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in London.