The architects, the engineers, the NHS and the British Army

NHS Nightingale

The conversion of the 115,000m² ExCeL Exhibition Centre in London’s Docklands into a 4,000 bed temporary hospital for the coronavirus crisis.

How did the collaboration come about?

In March 2020, the UK government and NHS England planned the project as an emergency response to the global coronavirus crisis, in anticipation of the pandemic peak overwhelming the NHS capacity. BDP worked closely with clinicians, consultants, contractors, including main contractor CFES, the ExCeL facilities management team and the British Army, ensuring that every bed could be fitted with all the equipment required to treat seriously ill patients. Clinical flows determined the circulation strategy within the building.

What were the most important factors that contributed to the success of this project?

Response to need
Response to COVID-19
Combination of skill sets
Combination of participants
Delivery of project
Social impact

Project funding

UK government and NHS England

Will the project continue beyond COVID-19 lockdown?

The project recently received £3bn additional funding to stay open until March 2021, as a precaution against a second wave.


Source of information and image credits: BDP