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HOK on healthcare campus design at Future Cities Forum

Above: the Royal Papworth Hospital's new building on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus (HOK)

Future Cities Forum is delighted that Kirstin Ziemer from HOK is contributing to Future Cities Forum's discussions at Lambeth Palace Library on 'Arts and Science Districts' this May.

Kirstin is a Principal and Senior Medical Planner at architects HOK's London studio and will join Imperial Healthcare NHS Trust's Head of Redevelopment, Matthew Tulley, to talk about the planning and vision for the Paddington Life Sciences district around the St Mary's Hospital campus.

She had a leading role in the HOK-led design for Royal Papworth Hospital’s new home on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, a research hub which is becoming one of the world’s leading centres for science and healthcare discovery.

The 300-bed facility, which opened in 2019, embraces the history and mission of the Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust as one of Europe’s leading centres for heart and lung care. It offers patients immediate access to a range of services while helping to attract leading clinicians and researchers.

The hospital’s striking architectural form and scenic landscaped grounds welcome patients and families onto the property. This atmosphere continues inside, with the building’s two central atria drawing warm and calming natural light deep into waiting areas and other public spaces.

The design further enhances the Trust’s model of care by creating separate zones for ambulatory or outpatient care, emergency services, and diagnostic and treatment functions. The clear distinction of these areas creates an environment that is easy-to-navigate, streamlines admissions and allows for efficient patient transfers.

All patients have their own room on the inner or the outer ring. Though they are identical, the building geometry makes each room feel unique. The glazed folding walls between the room and internal corridor provide a visual connection between patient and staff and ease of access for beds to be moved for treatment.

The hospital’s park-like setting features green spaces organized around a duck pond (a cherished feature from the old location) that provides patients, family and staff a link to nature that aids in the healing process.

HOK delivered the hospital in partnership with development and construction firm Skanska.

Kirstin was also closely involved in the redevelopment of the Royal London Hospital at Whitechapel, the U.K.’s leading trauma and emergency care centre.

As part of a Skanska-led P3 team, HOK developed a design solution that expanded the hospital vertically, creating a more compact footprint with valuable adjacencies. The cluster of interconnected, contemporary glass buildings includes a pair of 17-story towers, one equipped with a helipad for London’s Air Ambulance, and a 10-story tower. These new patient towers express the hospital’s focus on the future while respecting existing historic buildings that date back to the 18th century.

The new hospital has 1,248 beds, with 40 percent of them in private rooms. Patient wards are naturally ventilated. In addition to hosting Europe’s largest kidney treatment facility, the hospital includes a dedicated unit for women and children with London’s second-largest paediatric service.

The hospital also provides general services for the City of London and Tower Hamlets. Its new facilities form a health campus incorporating the neighbouring Queen Mary University of London’s Medical School, the School of Midwifery and the Dental Hospital.


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