Source:  London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, News, 2009.

HRH The Princess Royal opens new building at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

HRH The Princess Royal visited the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine yesterday to open the School’s new South Courtyard Building.

The School has expanded greatly in recent years and urgently requires more space. Its research funding now exceeds £48 m per annum while student numbers have increased greatly in recent years to a total of around 3500 postgraduate students, studying both in London and by distance learning.

The new South Courtyard Development rises five storeys above ground level in the former under-utilised courtyard. Designed by Devereux Architects, this new, reclaimed space will accommodate areas of teaching and research space and the new Manson Lecture theatre, along with a ‘social’ space including circulation, function space and refectory breakout space. Above this, the new state-of-the-art divisible John Snow Lecture Theatre sits at the heart of the South Courtyard, much as the original theatre did, but in this case raised up by two storeys, enabling people to pass beneath it.

The building will accommodate up to 90 staff and provide much-needed extra space for research and teaching. A number of new teaching and meeting rooms are named in honour of renowned former members of staff: Geoffrey Rose, a former Professor of Epidemiology; Sir Austin Bradford Hill, a former Dean, who together with Sir Richard Doll undertook one of the first studies to show the impacts of smoking on health and specifically the link between smoking and cancer in the 1950s; and Professor Chris Curtis, one of the world's leading medical entomologists who was based at the School from 1976 until his death last year.

The project has exceeded its obligations for renewables with building services design by Downie Consulting Engineers and is an excellent example of how low and zero-carbon technologies can be incorporated into an urban setting. The building has the potential to generate up to 60% of its own energy, and includes chilled beams which use cooled water from geothermal boreholes, natural ventilation, a mini wind turbine and photo-voltaic cells incorporated into the glass roof design which act as a solar screen in areas where heat gain and glare could arise.

HRH The Princess Royal meeting Mr Darius Umrigar, with (from l to r) Professor Dame Sally Davies, Mayoress Elma Ansari, Councillor Omar Faruque Ansari the Mayor of Camden, Sir Tim Lankester and Professor Sir Andrew Haines

The celebrations began at 2.00 pm in the John Snow Lecture Theatre in the School’s Keppel Street Building in WC1. There were presentations, followed by a Reception in the Atrium Building. HRH The Princess Royal, who is Chancellor of the University of London, formally opened the South Courtyard Building at 2.15 pm.

Unveiling the plaque 

Professor Sir Andrew Haines, Director of the School, commented: ‘This outstanding new building provides a stunning contrast with the lines of the original Grade II listed building and makes imaginative use of the available space. It has a number of novel features which adhere to the highest levels of energy efficiency and as far as possible uses renewable energy sources for heating, cooling and power generation. It will provide vital additional space to house our growing research and teaching activities. I would like to thank the Wolfson Foundation and the Garfield Weston Foundation for their generous contributions towards the cost of the building’.

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