UAE-funded research centre for rare diseases in London tops out

The Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) has marked the topping out of the UAE-funded Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children at a ceremony in London

Construction of the new building began in 2017.
Construction of the new building began in 2017.

The Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) has marked the topping out of the UAE-funded Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children at a ceremony in London.

As the first purpose built centre of its kind in the world, the project was funded by a $80m (GBP60m) donation from HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, chairwoman of the General Women's Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation.

The building was designed by architects Stanton Williams and is being built by Swedish contractor Skanska, who is responsible for the construction, mechanical, and electrical fit-out of the facility.

Construction of the new building began in 2017 after the demolition of an office block built in the 1960s, which was being used by the University of London and had been disused for some time.

On completion, the building will include 4,200m3 concrete to build the frame, weighing 10,500 tonnes, with 520 tonnes of steel used in the building structure and 5,000 metres of drywall partitions

The project will also have 13,000sqm of floor space, 2,500sqm of glass within the external walls, as well as a BREEAM rating of excellent.

Work has commenced on the interior of the centre, which will house state-of-the-art laboratories and highly-specialised facilities for the development of new gene and stem cell therapies as well as a much-needed outpatient clinic.

The ceremony was attended by Sulaiman Hamid Al Mazrouei, UAE Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Professor Maha Barakat, Advisor to the Executive Council of the Government of Abu Dhabi and a number of officials from the Government of Abu Dhabi.

During the ceremony, Al Mazrouei expressed his gratitude to Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak for her generous support locally and internationally. He also thanked the partners and shareholders of the centre for their ongoing commitment to the project.

He said: "The Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children is an innovative and collaborative partnership that brings together world-class medical and scientific expertise, which will have an immediate and lasting impact on the lives of many children from around the world."

The topping out event was celebrated with a traditional Scandinavian ‘flying of the fir’ in which a fir tree was flown over the building by tower crane, as well as a final pouring of cement, in a rooftop ceremony.

GOSH sees children from more than 90 countries and specialises in the treatment of children with rare diseases.

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