Garrod Refurbishment

We recently refurbished the Garrod Building for Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) in Whitechapel, East London.  Following a competitive tender, we were appointed to complete the design and to carry out a major refurbishment of the whole building.

The Garrod Building was constructed in 1854 and was formerly home to the London Hospital Medical College.  It was the first purpose-built medical college in England. In 1995 it merged with the Medical College of St Bartholomew’s Hospital and QMUL to form Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. The building is named in recognition of the physician Sir Archibald Garrod, who spent much of his career at St Bartholomew’s Hospital.

The building has undergone several alterations over the past 150 years. These were spurred by a rising volume of students and the need to modernise teaching facilities.  Despite this, it retains its ornate library, old anatomy lecture theatre and dignified central staircase.

Our work included alterations to form a new IT lab on the 2nd floor and prayer rooms on the 3rd floor. New student union facilities were created consisting of a large function space, café bar, games area and basement gym. In addition all common and teaching areas were refurbished including both the Milton and Ex-Anatomy lecture theatres. The old external spiral stair was removed and an external decked area was created. We overlaid and repaired various levels of the roof prior to the installation of roof mounted plant.

As part of a drive to reduce carbon emissions new electrically powered mechanical services were installed throughout. This included three new air handling units which had to be lifted onto the roof.  Electrical and specialist services were replaced and the mains power was upgraded.  A phased approach had to be adopted with ‘switch-overs’ carefully planned. This avoided losing connectivity to the building, particularly the central nodal room.

This was a complicated project with areas being required to be kept operational whilst the refurbishment took place.  Asbestos was removed and fire protection was upgraded. Repairs were undertaken to underground drainage, relief plasterwork and joinery. Strong relationships were built with all the QMUL specialist providers including AV, fire detection & alarm, access control, security and furniture. This helped the project to run smoothly.

It was a testament to the collaborative working methods established by QMUL and the consultant team, including Fusion Project Management and Kendall Kingscott, that all teaching areas were handed over in time for the new semester in October.

Congratulations to all those involved in this highly complex project.

April 2024