Arup develops upgrades to St Thomas Hospital, London

04 March 2016 3 min. read

Arup has successfully completed its role in the work to develop the East Wing of St Thomas' Hospital in London. Through an innovative ‘double skin’ the hospital has been able to add two lifts to transfer patients more effectively between A&E and the intensive care units and in-patient wards in the East Wing, as well as adding additional environmental and wellbeing aspects to the building.

St Thomas' Hospital traces its history back to between 1173 and 1215. The hospital was originally located in Becket, and named after St Thomas Becket. The hospital provided sanctuary and treatment for the poor, sick, and homeless. In 1862 the hospital was relocated from Southwark following the compulsory allocation of the site for the construction of the Charing Cross Railway viaduct. The hospital has been located at its present site, in Lambeth near Lambeth Palace, since 1871, and is administered by the Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Trust. Today, the hospital is a prominent London landmark, due to its central location – however, its patient facilities have in recent years fallen behind the world class standard and its façade has not aged well.

Arup’s role in the renovation of the East Wing of St Thomas' Hospital focused on the development of a number of innovative designs to refurbish the hospital wing’s facilities, while its 200 beds remained operational. Through the development of a new façade to the building that acts as a ‘double skin’, this double cladding improved waterproofing and a host of energy efficiency benefits were added to the building. The cladding further created space for a number of additional features, including two lifts to transport patients between the building’s 13 floors; that improve the transfer from the hospital’s A&E department to the intensive care units, improves the transport of in-patient wards in East Wing, as well as two bright and airy atria. The last feature provides ample light and space for patients, staff and visitors' wellbeing.

St Thomas Hospital

Steve McGuire, Director of Essentia, Guy’s and St Thomas’ says: “East Wing is home to some of the most important clinical services at St Thomas’, caring for some of our sickest patients. The rationale for the East Wing project was simple – the building was leaking, it wasn’t energy efficient, and the lifts to take patients from A&E to intensive care and wards were not fit for purpose, and so a complete overhaul was needed. Improving our infrastructure without disrupting patient care is a key priority and we are very proud that the East Wing project was completed without cancelling any appointments or treatment.”

Patricia Johnstone, Director and UKMEA board member, Arup says: “Our challenge was to help develop a cost-effective, buildable design for a highly complex and constrained site. We needed to thoroughly renew the exterior of East Wing without disrupting the building’s intensive care units and wards. Arup’s team of building, façade, geotechnical and fire engineers are proud to have contributed to the creation of a better functioning and more attractive East Wing – one that clearly offers an improved environment for patients and staff.”

Other professional services firm that were part of the project included Hopkins Architects and ISG.