A £300 million contract has been awarded to Bouygues UK to build Oriel, a new eye care, research and education centre in Camden.

square metres

Oriel is a joint initiative between Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Charity that will see services move to a brand-new integrated centre on part of the St Pancras Hospital site. It will deliver an enhanced patient experience, more efficient service delivery, capacity for changing demand, and flex to respond to a changing clinical landscape and support new ways of working.

The new centre will harness the expertise of the partners under one roof and will enable closer collaborative working between clinicians and researchers to speed up the delivery of the highest quality treatments and therapies for patients.

Oriel is about more than a building – we’re helping to lay the foundations for collaborative working practices to deliver the highest quality treatment in a state-of-the-art centre that has been designed with care.

The building is being designed flexibly to enable Oriel to meet service requirements in the future. This will allow for changes in technological, medical or research requirements so that it maintains its world-leading position.

The new centre has the potential to be a national exemplar for accessibility, providing patients with an environment that’s tailored to their needs.

Design elements such as wayfinding, navigation, acoustics and lighting are being guided by our patients to promote confidence, independence and wellbeing.

Construction approach

Given the 47,000m2 size of the Oriel project, coupled with the complex nature of construction and the location in the heart of Camden the project poses numerous technical and logistical challenges.

Minimising the impact of our works on the local community is the primary objective. We have addressed this by paying close attention to construction sequencing and developing a well-considered site logistics strategy to gain the full support of the client and local residents.

Self-delivery of our structures using our own in-house experts and our own plant and machinery gives us security of labour and plant which de-risks one of the most critical construction components. We won’t be dependent on the market, and we will bring the expertise and know-how of our team to benefit the project.

Bouygues UK has worked with the client closely throughout the early works programme to develop an MMC (Modern Methods of Construction) strategy for Oriel, in line with requirements of the project stakeholders and relevant government guidance. Early involvement from partners for the façade and mechanical, electrical and plumbing packages reaps major benefits when it comes to MMC solutions.

Protecting the environment

Bouygues UK is committed to taking care of and protecting the environment, preventing pollution, and the continual improvement of our environmental performance throughout the project.

We will undertake many sustainability activities throughout the life of the project. The first of these has been:

  • Installation of the site hoarding – we installed Envirohoard™ by Panthera which is the UK’s first Net Zero carbon verified sustainable hoarding system which partners with UK charity, Trees for Cities where we will be planting trees for every metre of EnviroHoard™ (28 trees will be planted for the project).
  • Ongoing environmental monitoring for noise, dust and vibration – we receive hourly reports which enable us to react to any breach to the agreed limits where works are stopped and additional measures are implemented.

Social Value

We will be working with the local community on events and initiatives to make a positive difference in the area.

The project has agreed targets with Camden Council under their S106 agreement and we are working closely with the Kings Cross Construction Skills Centre to advertise its apprenticeship opportunities.

We will also be working with local schools and colleges to offer work experience opportunities where students get to experience a variety of different roles on-site.

We have already welcomed a number of apprentices, placement students and graduates across a number of roles, each playing an integral role in the project, with more to join in the coming months.

Charity and donations

Bouygues UK will be directly involved with local charities in the community.

We hugely enjoyed supporting Moorfields Eye Charity at their Eye to Eye walk 2023. We are looking forward to sponsoring this brilliant event throughout the life of the project.

We have provided brown clay to Masters students in Architecture at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London for a project that required some earth building experiments. Similarly, in partnership with Cella Collective, Store Store hosted a four-week summer school for students aged 15-18 from Camden’s state schools. Bouygues UK donated clay excavated from the Oriel site, and students used it to make amazing pieces of art.

We have worked with Single Homeless Project to donate five laptops.

These laptops will play a pivotal role in our mission to foster IT skills training and promote digital inclusion among our clients. Your contribution enables us to bridge the digital divide and empower individuals with the tools they need to thrive in today’s digital world.

Single Homeless Project


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