Coram Campus. Bloomsbury. London
Client: The Coram Foundation
Contract Value: £10 million
Planning application submitted 2010
The Coram Foundation is the UKs foremost charity for the care and support of children.
A new building for Coram is set within the context of a masterplan for the whole campus which creates a new strong identity for Coram and knits the campus into surrounding public spaces withiin the heart of London. Coram Campus is located within the Bloomsbury Conservation Area on the northern part of the site once occupied by the historic Foundling Hospital – established in the 18th century by Sir Thomas Coram as the worlds first institution to care for abandoned children. Coram continues this work today through a range of services and research programmes to “promote resilience and well-being in vulnerable children and young people in preparation for a fulfilling adult life.”
Coram Campus is a green oasis within a dense part of central London captured between Coram’s Fields to the south and the grade 2 listed St Georges Gardens to the north. Together, Coram’s Fields and the Campus are remarkable historic open spaces within the heart of London which have been devoted to the care of children for nearly 300 years.
In 2009 The Coram Foundation appointed Meadowcroft Griffin to work with their advisors Stanhope to develop a phased masterplan to increase capacity, improve orientation and ease of movement throughout the site and create a new public identity for the charity. Designs for the first phase followed which includes relocation and extension of the nursery and a new education/office building to allow Coram to expand their services, training and outreach programmes.
The challenging demands of designing within a highly sensitive landscape setting with historic significance demanded a sensitive design approach and extensive consultation with planners and the local community.