CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Royal Free’s planned building is a vanity project and it’s in the wrong place

07 September, 2017

• NEIGHBOURS of the Royal Free Hospital scratch their heads trying to make sense of RFH development decisions.

Notably the RFH could not have chosen a more difficult high risk location for the Pears Building, on a steep slope at Hampstead Green in the shadow of St Stephen’s tower. It’s no surprise to professional observers like me that the project is years delayed and bogged down with intractable problems.

The current difficulties could all have been avoided if the Pears Building had been located elsewhere on the RFH site. With huge amounts of public money saved.

Two alternative locations for the building are still available if RFH car parking is rationalised. The first is the “South car park”, immediately next to the rear entrance of the main RFH building. The second is the “Lawn Road car park”, with its substantial frontage onto Fleet Road.

The RFH is its own worst enemy. It has no masterplan for development, and its board and estates department are obsessed with a hugely problematic vanity project located in the wrong place.

RICHARD FERRARO FRIBA
Fleet Road, NW3

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