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Hopkins' Evelina atrium to close again

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The atrium of Hopkins’ Stirling Prize-shortlisted Evelina Children’s Hospital in Southwark, London is to close for eight months so defective glazing can be replaced

This will be the third time the huge vaulted space has had to be shut off since the ground-breaking building for the Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust opened in October 2005.

Safety fears caused the hospital to close the atrium in October 2008, when a steel bolt fell from the second tier of the ‘conservatory’ structure (AJ 30.10.08), and then again when a pane of glass in the roof shattered because of an ‘imperfection in the manufacturing process’.

The current problems, blamed on a ‘manufacturing problem with a number of rubber seals and glazing space bars’, were first discovered back in April 2009 and were expected to be resolved that summer (AJ 02.04.09).

Almost three years later contractor MJ Gleeson finally looks set to start a major programme to replace every double-glazed unit in the glass roof.

A spokesman for the trust said: ‘In response to this defect, the contractor MJ Gleeson is proposing to replace all of the atrium double glazed units commencing in February 2012, and the work should be complete in September 2012.

‘The contractor has assured the Trust that there is no risk to the safety of people using the building and that the problem will not affect the performance of the glazing.’

No wards or clinical areas will be affected by the closure and it is understood the defect is ‘being covered by insurance’.

Hopkins was unavailable for comment.

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