UCL Faculty of Medical Sciences


UCL Pears Building receives prize for outstanding architecture

31 May 2023

UCL Pears Building in Hampstead, home to UCL's Institute of Immunity and Transplantation, has secured a prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) London Award for 2023.

Exterior of UCL Pears Building credit: Janie Airey

Judged and presented locally, RIBA London Awards celebrate architectural excellence across the city - recognising buildings that demonstrate innovative design principles, sustainability, functionality, and aesthetic appeal.

A world-class research and clinical facility, the Pears Building in Hampstead was designed by Hopkins Architects and was created as a result of a groundbreaking collaboration between the Royal Free Charity, UCL and the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust and the Royal Free Charity, with support from many local residents and organisations. The building houses UCL’s Institute of Immunity and Transplantation (IIT) with the top two floors providing patient accommodation.

RIBA President, Simon Allford, said: “Winning a RIBA regional award is a fantastic achievement. These projects, selected by a rigorous peer review process, represent the very best of the region’s new architecture. Inspiring buildings and spaces bring joy to all our lives, and this year’s award winners certainly fit that bill. Many congratulations to all.”

Scientific excellence with sustainability 

IIT scientists at the Pears Building are dedicated to the study of the human immune system, undertaking patient-focused research to develop better treatments for diseases such as cancer, diabetes, HIV and hepatitis, as well as new therapies to stop the rejection of transplants. Facilities within the building provide optimal infrastructure for research, training and clinical delivery, with state-of-the-art research labs, equipment and clean room facilities, along with generous, light-filled open plan spaces and diverse breakout spaces to foster collaboration, innovation, and knowledge sharing.

The Pears Building has been designed in line with the requirements of the BREEAM method, which sets standards for the environmental performance of buildings. The innovative design includes a green roof, solar panels, rainwater harvesting systems and exterior solar shades to reduce heat gain. 

The RIBA London 2023 Award comes a month after the Pears building achieved a highly commended accolade at the 2023 Civic Trust Awards, which celebrate excellence in architecture that is sustainable, accessible and provides a positive civic contribution.

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