Our project story

The Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children.

London, UK

Science & Research

Tracking tough diseases.

Graham Cossons, Partner at Hoare Lea

Project Lead:
Graham Cossons

Working as one.
The first of its kind.

Challenge accepted.

There are more than 6,000 rare diseases in the world, 75 percent of which affect children. Named in honour of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan of UAE, whose family’s generous gift made it possible, the brand new Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children is a building that brings knowledge, technology and patients together in one place to accelerate the bench-to-bedside process of developing new treatments.

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The really exciting thing is the possibility of creating a working environment that brings everyone together.
Professor Andrew Taylor, Divisional Director, GOSH

Under one roof.

The project is a partnership between Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), University College London, and GOSH Children’s Charity. Designed to allow a highly collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach, the building brings a hospital, university research labs, and GMP manufacturing spaces together under one roof. This meant we had to design complex systems that spanned three different design standards: NHS, laboratory, and office.

Complex coordination.

The building was limited on height due to planning restrictions so our solutions had to maximise the floor space. There are a staggering number of different engineering systems packed into this highly complex building. By carrying out a fully coordinated MEP design using 3D modelling, we were able to fit them all into the limited space. There were also some very complex fire engineered solutions that our fire experts helped negotiate with Camden Building Control.
Technical Impact

High standards.

Energy efficient heating, ventilation and lighting solutions – along with our sustainability advice and carbon modelling – meant we were able to achieve a 35 percent improvement over Building Regulations, plus a very low running cost for the building. As BREEAM assessor, we helped achieve the ambitious Excellent rating for such a complex and demanding facility. This sustainable focus was matched by our commitment to ensuring a safe, hygienic, patient-focussed hospital alongside state-of-the-art clinical research laboratories.
Human Impact

Transforming lives.

The human impact of this project extends from the people who will work within the building, to the patients and families who will visit. An integral part of its success was helping to bring so many people from different buildings and backgrounds together to follow common systems and collaborate for the first time in newly open-plan offices. Ultimately, the Zayed Centre for Research will serve as a global research hub, benefitting children from around the world.
A variety of different professionals under one roof will allow us to turn innovative thinking into practical solutions. The centre will also give us a manufacturing capacity to develop these solutions at scale so we can help more and more patients.
Key Figures
400 clinical and research staff will work together in the building.
7 'cleanrooms' where gene and cell therapy medicinal products can be made to treat children.
35% less carbon emissions than required under the Building Regulations

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The Zayed Centre for Research will allow us to develop cures for rare diseases quicker than ever before, giving children everywhere the chance of a longer and fuller life.
Professor Bobby Gaspar, Professor of Paediatrics and Immunology, UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health
Graham Cossons, Partner at Hoare Lea

Project Lead:
Graham Cossons