London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine – Tavistock Place 2
The Tavistock Place 2 building will provide accommodation that will assist LSHTM in expanding the limits of research in epidemiology and public health by addressing some of the largest public health problems throughout the UK and worldwide.
The School is home to researchers with a wide range of expertise in infectious disease and public health including clinical trials, statistical analysis, genetic epidemiology, large-scale observational studies and field trials through to the design and evaluation of clinical and public health interventions in low, middle and high-income countries.
Arranged over 5 floors together with a basement storey, the new building will provide purpose built, innovative dry laboratory research space and will facilitate work with partners in the UK and worldwide.
The central London location, in proximity to LSHTM’s other Bloomsbury research facilities, will enable the School to continue to build partnerships with nearby world-class research centres such as the Francis Crick Institute, and provides access to major London hospitals and patients.
The site neighbours a number of listed buildings and our team at BMJ Architects has worked in collaboration with the London Borough of Camden Planning Authority, and local residents to develop a design that maximises accommodation for the client in a manner that enhances the local setting.
Visits to exemplar buildings informed our design with open plan areas broken down into ‘neighbourhoods’. Our collaborative engagement with the users, using extensive visualisation helped to embrace the change of culture away from working in small rooms to new ways of working in open plan space. We created a strong sense of place around a hierarchy from public to private, providing a vibrant collaborative hub within the circulation areas around a light-filled atrium.
Planning: Analysis of the heritage context established that we would be required to work closely with Camden Planning Authority to develop a modern but contextual townscape composition for this building.
Collaboration: We collaborated closely with end users to establish a change of culture from working in cellular offices to more open plan write-up arrangements. Through a series of stakeholder workshops we looked at more diverse and flexible ways of working to ensure that the building delivers space for the school which meets its needs now and in the future.
Planning: To reduce the apparent scale of this large building, the elevations are set back at the upper levels in response to the sunlight and daylight requirements of the surrounding properties. To mitigate the visual impact on the Conservation Area we developed the concept of “A Bloomsbury Garden” with extensively planted roof terraces. Camden Council’s Planning Committee approved the scheme with minimal conditions and unanimous support.
Collaboration: The building has been designed around the core principle of encouraging cross disciplinary collaborations and carefully planned around a hierarchy of space from public to private that encourage collaboration.