The Richard Desmond Children’s Eye Centre is a world-class, dedicated treatment centre for children’s eye conditions, which combines the clinical expertise of Moorfields Eye Hospital with the research base of the adjacent Institute of Ophthalmology promoting fast transference of ‘bench to bedside’ research findings.
The new building creates a landmark facility in line with the hospital’s international status and aspirations. The dedicated centre provides outpatient clinics, day surgery, research facilities and overnight accommodation facilities for patients and families and addresses highly prescriptive clinical requirements without losing sight of a supportive and child-friendly patient environment.
The design dispels preconceptions of hospitals to create a holistic, child-focused and welcoming environment. A potentially traumatic experience becomes a positive one, supported by a clear layout which gives a sense of security, engaging colour schemes and large relaxation and play areas. Overall, the design offers a textured and engaging experience, and a sense of discovery for patients whose ages range from 0 to 16 and who may find their treatment lasting for months or even years.
The interior design strategy included collaborating with artists to create a strong and cohesive identity. Yuko Shiraishi created a large mural that extends upwards over all five floors and connects the ground floor entrance with all the main waiting areas above. This playful intervention of an abstracted optometry cell diagram of the eye’s visual pathway is a key part of the building’s simple and legible wayfinding system, providing real visual reference points throughout the building.
The integrated art programme also includes lighting and the building’s entrance façade which features an arrangement of freely placed folded aluminium louvres to minimise solar gain and create an iconic street presence. These were designed in tandem with artist Alison Turnbull. A lighting sequence programmed for dusk floods the building with dynamic, glowing colours.