David Morley to draw up plans for £400m St Mary’s hospital, originally part of failed £1bn PFI health campus
Morley has been appointed architect and masterplanner and Turner & Townsend is cost and programme consultant for the scheme, which could be adopted as a template for future NHS trusts.
Although at this stage the consultants are only acting as advisers to make the strategic case for the hospital, the scheme could be the first example of “smart PFI”, whereby a design is agreed by the NHS trust and then bid for by PFI consortiums.
The St Mary’s project follows the controversial Paddington Health Campus PFI scheme, which collapsed last year after costs topped £1bn.
Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust, St Mary’s partner in the abortive venture, is considering other potential development sites.
Morley beat four prominent healthcare architects including Building Design Partnership and Anshen Dyer to win St Mary. It has recruited architects Greenhill Jenner and Urban Strategies to work on the scheme, which will be managed in-house by St Mary’s NHS Trust.
Jonathan Wilson, a partner at Morley, said the project should “break the mould of urban hospital design”.
He said: “The trust has a very clear idea that it wants a fully designed exemplar scheme with clinical planning, community consultation and a high level of detail. It would have outline planning consent, so that the trust could go to the market with the scheme. They are also toying with the idea of novating the design team to the successful bidder.”
Whereas St Mary’s currently occupies sites south of the Paddington canal basin, Morley has been asked to look at a site to the north.
Wilson said: “One option is to develop a 1960s school there that is owned by the council. You could get the whole hospital on that one site in a podium and tower.
“The other main option is to develop piecemeal near the existing hospital. And then there are hybrid options of developing on both sides of the basin.”
In 2002, Morley carried out a similar detailed exemplar scheme for Sherwood Hospital near Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, although in the event it was not adopted.
The smart PFI route, which has been backed by the RIBA, is less popular with contractors who prefer to have more control over the process by being involved at the early stages of a design.