Scientists set to move into £60million Pears Building
Construction work finishes on long-awaited research facility
01 June, 2021 — By Tom Foot
Royal Free chiefs cut the ribbon to the new Pears Building
SCIENTISTS are preparing to move into new research facility after they building work was completed.
The £60m Pears Building, next to the Royal Free in Hampstead, is the new home of University College London Institute of Immunity and Transplantation, in Pond Street, Hampstead.
It will provide a modern space for 200 researchers hoping to find cures and treatments for type 1 diabetes, cancer and organ rejection after transplantation.
Hospital chiefs cut the ribbon today although they are yet to move into the building that includes a car park, new offices for managers.
The Pears Building
“In the Pears Building we have a world class laboratory research facility and a beautiful space designed to facilitate a unique partnership between scientist and clinician,” said Professor Hans Stauss, director of the IIT. “This will enable us to convert discoveries made in the laboratory into cures and treatments more quickly.
“In the Pears Building we will be able to expand the institute and so create a fabulous opportunity to release the potential of immunity-based treatments in cancer, diabetes, HIV, hepatitis and COVID-19, as well as developing new therapies to stop the rejection of transplants.”
Construction was due to finish in November but was delayed during the pandemic. The public are invited to use the building’s cafe and to take part in clinical trials.
The public cafe
Jon Spiers, chief executive of the charity, said: “None of this would have been possible without the incredible generosity of a number of visionary philanthropists, including the Pears Foundation, who have supported the project from the outset.”
The Pears Foundation – run by a family of property billionaires with links to Hampstead – pledged £5million towards the project.
The plan to build the new research centre on the hospital’s former car park and public green space, triggered a massive planning dispute before it was finally approved in April 2016.
Resident groups said the building was too bulky and not suited to the conservation area.
The neighbouring St Stephen’s Church warned the foundations of its its historic building would be disrupted by the construction.
Free chief executive Caroline Clarke said: “Our expansion of the institute will give many more of our patients the opportunity to take part in ground-breaking research.”