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Foster + Partners set to design £1bn Paddington hospital to replace existing facility

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A £1 billion hospital designed by Foster + Partners could be built in Paddington as part of an audacious developer-backed land swap deal with the NHS

Great Western Developments (GWD) and Shard developer Sellar are already building the Paddington Cube by Renzo Piano Workshop, but have now hired Fosters to draw up plans for the high-rise hospital, which would replace the crumbling St Mary’s Hospital. 

Under the land swap deal, GWD and Sellar would build a hospital for the trust in return for surplus land freed up by the development.

The original medical centre opened in 1845, with numerous extensions and wings subsequently added. Two elements of the hospital campus have Grade II-listing.

But Tim Orchard, chief executive of the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, said the trust was spending £20 million a year just to maintain the hospital and has been advised that a major estate failure is likely to happen in the next seven to 10 years.

In the late 1990s, Farrells drew up a masterplan for a new Paddington Health Campus on the site. However, the proposed PFI project was scrapped in 2005 after more than £15 million of public money had been wasted.

David Morley Architects later beat BDP to create a new masterplan, but this project also never came to fruition.

It is understood Fosters’ hospital could be up to 150m tall, though the NHS trust told the AJ it would not decide the height of the building until further detailed work had been undertaken.

St Mary’s Trauma Centre would continue to be used while the new hospital was built, as well as Feilden Clegg Bradley Studio’s outpatient centre for the hospital, which won consent in 2017 and will have completed by the time work starts.

The new negotiations represent a thawing out of relations between the developers and the NHS trust. The trust previously tried to bring a High Court case against plans to change access roads to the hospital as part of the Paddington Cube project.

The trust has said it is aiming to have plans and business cases approved for the new St Mary’s by the beginning of 2022, with the new hospital built and fitted out by 2027.

A redevelopment of St Mary’s is already included in the government’s health infrastructure plan, and the NHS trust has been given £5 million towards drawing up plans.

A trust spokesperson said one of the first tasks would be to work out accurate costs for the projects, but added that it currently believes the hospital will cost a little over £1 billion.

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