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Exclusive: Moorfields Eye Hospital winner revealed

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Penoyre & Prasad and White Arkitekter have won the contest to design a major new eye-care, research and educational facility at St Pancras Hospital in Camden, London 

The two practices, part of a team led by AECOM, saw off four other bids in the RIBA-backed competition to design a new integrated facility for Moorfields Eye Hospital and the University College London (UCL) Institute of Ophthalmology.

Among those missing out were Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP), Hopkins, Bennetts Associates with Reiach & Hall; and Ryder Architecture with Hawkins\Brown Architects (see full list below).

The five shortlisted teams each received an honorarium of £15,000 for their proposals.

The contest sought proposals for a landmark new home for Moorfields, moving from its City Road premises to the plot north-west of King’s Cross, and bringing together healthcare, research and educational activities under a single roof for the first time.

The project will create a ‘flexible and modern’ facility within the historic St Pancras Hospital complex. The scheme, scheduled to open by 2026, is backed by Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, UCL and Moorfields Eye Charity.

It is understood Moorfields has already managed to secure nearly £20 million from central government towards the project’s funding.

Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust chief executive David Probert said the winning team ‘was selected due to its 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.’

Penoyre & Prasad previously worked for Moorfields in 2006, delivering the Richard Desmond Children’s Eye Centre for the hospital in 2006.

AECOM director of technical practice, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Dale Sinclair, said: ‘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 globally recognised Moorfields Eye Hospital was founded in 1805 and moved to its present site on City Road near Old Street Underground Station in 1899. The complex, which includes the neighbouring UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, is one of the specialism’s largest treatment, teaching and research bases in Europe.

The existing St Pancras Hospital, which sits next to St Pancras International Station and the £5 billion Francis Crick Institute, currently specialises in geriatric and psychiatric medicine.

Later this year, Camden Clinical Commissioning Group will lead a public consultation on the relocation of NHS services from Moorfields Eye Hospital to the proposed new site.

 The full shortlist

  • WINNER: AECOM with Penoyre & Prasad and White Arkitekter AB 
  • Bennetts Associates with Reiach & Hall, Buro Happold Engineering and Gustafson Porter + Bowman
  • Hopkins Architects with Arup, Todd Longstaffe-Gowan and Wolfgang Buttress
  • Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners with Stantec, Arup, Gillespies, Speirs + Major and T Projects
  • Ryder Architecture with Hawkins\Brown Architects, Spacehub Design, Hoare Lea, Rider Levett Bucknall UK and Ramboll UK


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