Royal College of Pathologists New HQ
Home to medical research professionals for over 50 years, the Royal College of Pathologists recently invested in stunning new premises in Aldgate, central London.
A permanent, purpose-built home for their staff and professional members, the building replaces their Crown Estate-leased HQ at 2 Carlton House Terrace. The facility has been designed as a fitting place from which to administer, train, teach and manage the College and its members for the future.
Cutting-edge new premises
The eight-storey building, located on Alie Street, features a double-height entrance atrium and incorporates floor to ceiling windows on all floors to maximise natural light. The Bennetts Associates architectural design includes a suite of state-of-the-art facilities for the College’s members and trainees, including multi-purpose 210-person conference theatre and meeting rooms, office space and examination rooms from which to expand the College’s programme of academic activities.
The building includes two roof terraces adjacent to the sixth floor meeting room, accommodating up to 60 people for receptions or 40 for boardroom-style meetings. The seventh floor contains accommodation that can be used by the College for overnight stays in addition to self-contained office space. Other facilities include secure bike storage, showers and a cloakroom on the lower ground floor.
A different design
Our structures team worked closely with the architect to incorporate pioneering concrete techniques into the design. These include using an exposed board-marked concrete and brick finish internally, with underfloor ventilation and exposed trough slab soffits. This technique enables each soffit to be lit so that the ceiling achieves a warm glow throughout, differentiating the College from many modern concrete flat slab buildings.
The lightweight trough solution enabled reuse of the retained raft foundation, which was key to saving both considerable cost and time, whilst avoiding potential complications with undermining neighbouring properties. The resulting savings unlocked the budget to spend more on the public conferencing areas, giving the building a premium look and feel.
Focus on sustainability
Designed with sustainability at it’s heart, the concrete frame was constructed with a carbon footprint at 51% of a conventional concrete frame. The structural frame alone, not including thermal mass benefits, saves enough carbon to offset the occupant’s vehicle use for a year. The design also provides a 25% enhancement in passive cooling over conventional flat slab alternatives.
Daniel Ross, Chief Executive Royal College of Pathologists, commented; “We are enormously proud of our new state-of-the art headquarters that will last for generations, generating revenue for the College, and enabling it to take the next step in its development as a world class organisation. The College is dedicated to the advancement of patient care through the training and development of doctors and scientists working in the pathology specialties, and this new facility will help ensure we stay at the forefront of this vital work.”
Barry Dobbins, Director of Waterman Structures, commented; “This has been a fantastic project to work on, and we are delighted with what has been delivered. The whole team worked together to create an amazing building that showcases the best that can be achieved in modern concrete buildings. The new facility is a fitting tribute to the astonishing work the College and their alumni have produced throughout their history.”
The Royal College of Pathology moved into their new headquarters in November 2018.