St Thomas’ Hospital on Westminster Bridge Road, SE1, is one of the country’s oldest hospitals, tracing its roots back to the 12th century. It has been based on its current location opposite the Houses of Parliament since 1871, and has undergone a number of redevelopments and refurbishments since.
One of its most recent was our £5.4m design and build project to extend the hospital’s retail area in the north wing near the main entrance: an important facility for patients, visitors and staff alike. The existing shopping space was congested and dated, and the Trust saw an opportunity for increased income from additional retail units.
Our brief was to strip out the existing space, extend the ground floor area and then reconfigure the space to form five retail units in place of the three existing units, including a Marks & Spencer Simply Food and Café. The design for the new retail space and circulation area aimed to recreate an airportlike appearance: open, airy, bright, crisp and modern.
The hospital needed to remain in full use, and the existing shops needed to continue trading. Close consultation with the entire project team, the Trust and retailers, as well as liaison with the hospital staff and patients, was critical to a smooth programme. We held weekly update and ‘lookahead’ meetings with hospital management, kept in regular touch with all stakeholders, achieved design signoff for all retail units from each individual retailer as well as the Trust and provided temporary trading units for retailers’ use during the 27week programme.
As well as providing new, larger retail units featuring curved bulkhead walls and Dormer sliding security doors, we refurbished the reconfigured circulation areas to an extremely high specification, including integrated wayfinder lanterns, feature lightwall, fourstar toilet facilities and stone floor tiling. We installed new escape staircases and bespoke reception and security desks with associated data and security feeds to increase patient and staff safety.
“THE EXISTING SHOPPING SPACE WAS CONGESTED AND DATED, AND THE TRUST SAW AN OPPORTUNITY FOR INCREASED INCOME FROM ADDITIONAL RETAIL UNITS. THE DESIGN FOR THE NEW RETAIL SPACE AND CIRCULATION AREA AIMED TO RECREATE AN AIRPORT-LIKE APPEARANCE: OPEN, AIRY, BRIGHT, CRISP AND MODERN.”