National Surgical Innovation Centre / Queen Mary University London was completed under a fast-track design and build contract, the new centre on the first floor of the Abernathy Building on Whitechapel Road is the first of its kind in the UK. The NCBRSI (National Centre for Bowel Research and Surgical Innovation) brings together under one roof scientists, clinicians and clinical trial specialists.
Creating a space which would encourage collaboration and innovation within an inter-disciplinary team was at the heart of the design proposals as Professor Norman Williams, Director of the Centre and President of the Royal College of Surgeons, explains; “We can make great strides if we pool expertise from different sectors of the medical chain, but we need an organisation and a structure with which to do that.” The new centre provides different specialised lab areas as well as office and meeting space for researchers, academics and administrative staff. The layout optimises space efficiency whilst promoting the transfer of knowledge with a sequence of spaces that provide a safe, secure research environment. The design incorporates air lock lobbies, ante-rooms and a separate pressurised ventilation system. The laboratory areas are grouped into a distinct zone, assisting with the rationalisation of servicing and the sequencing of activities, lab security, maintenance and hygiene procedures.
The project is a joint venture between Queen Mary University of London, Barts and the London NHS Trust, and the charity Bowel & Cancer Research, which contributed £2.4m of funding to enable the centre to launch.