What is it about architecture that makes one building beautiful to someone and another not? How does one decide why this office block looks horrid and that restored neo-classical mansion is sublime? Usually it is a matter of multiple factors combined, in a variety of ways but always fast enough to leave no room for doubt to the eye of the beholder. Moorfields Eye Hospital and the adjacent Institute of Ophthalmology decided to have a dedicated treatment centre for children’s eye conditions. 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.Architecturally, the result of Penoyre & Prasad is a building that does not look like any hospital you have ever seen. Creating a welcoming experience from start to finish, the design makes this a colourful building, in tune with its inhabitants, turning the traumatic experience of visiting a doctor to a happy, positive one, filled with shapes, light and colours.
The most important visual element of the centre is the façade. It features a swarm of folded aluminium louvers, seemingly placed in a random way, that minimise solar gain while giving the building a unique visual identity. And when the sun starts going down, a specially programmed lighting sequence makes the louvers come alive with colour, giving the centre a rainbow-coloured glow.
Penoyre & Prasad is an RIBA chartered practice with over 20 years of experience across many sectors and has developed a distinctive design approach which results in functional, sustainable and award winning buildings. Their architecture is a direct response to the aims and ambitions of clients and users. Sensitive to context, their designs can also be a catalyst for change, helping clients to achieve their organisational goals and adding significant value to their operations.