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Go ahead for Great Ormond Street Children’s Cancer Centre

The planning committee at Camden Council has resolved to grant planning permission for BDP’s proposed new entrance building for Great Ormond Street Hospital.


Every day, Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) performs life-changing work while treating childhood illnesses and 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.   

Last week, Camden Council voted in favour of the designs for the new entrance building, designed by BDP for the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust.

The Trust’s cancer clinics are currently situated in buildings from the 1930s and services are scattered across the hospital campus. The new Children’s Cancer 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 new centre will include cancer wards, cancer day care, new theatres and an intensive care unit meaning specialist healthcare teams can all work more closely together. The building will also house new imaging equipment and a specialised chemotherapy pharmacy will also be created to ensure the Trust keeps pace with world leading cancer care practice.

Accommodating young people with rare and difficult-to-treat cancers, the new Children’s Cancer Centre sits at the heart of the development. The concept design required BDP’s multidisciplinary teams to think sensitively about the scale of the new building.

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 and child-friendly dimension.



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’, which is a group of young patients. The most popular theme expressed by the forum was ‘nature’, followed by ‘home away from home’ and ‘indoor-outdoor’. Together, these concepts highlighted the desire for a safe, homely environment connected to outside space as well as areas for play and interaction providing respite from the clinical surroundings.

Commenting on the progression of the highly anticipated project, Architect Principal Benedict 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, better working and healthcare environments means so much to our whole multidisciplinary team. We are so delighted to have received conditional planning permission.”



Matthew Shaw, Chief Executive of Great Ormond Street Hospital, added: “We are delighted that Camden Council’s planning committee resolved to grant planning permission for our plans for our 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.”

BDP is providing multidisciplinary services including architecture, interior design, building services engineering, lighting, sustainability consultancy and civil and structural engineering.



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