The James Black Centre


The James Black Centre of King’s College London specialises in the research of cardiology, neuroscience and sickle cell disease with a major focus on stem cells. Walter Lilly managed the new build construction of this 4,650 m2 building which is located on the Kings College Campus at Camberwell and is surrounded on all four sides by campus buildings, Kings College Hospital, industrial units and terraced housing.

This state of the art facility includes a 7 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Imaging scanner (MRI), suites of laboratories for microscopy, genomics analysis, cell sorting and general Category II work. It houses more than 200 scientists.

The four storey reinforced concrete frame has an additional 7m double basement. The building was constructed on piled foundations with a floating concrete basement raft. The columns throughout the building were designed to be left exposed with chamfered polished edges. The basement has a two line defence for water ingress, firstly a traditional membrane fixed to the concrete on the outside of the retaining wall and secondly a cavity drainage system on the inside of the retaining wall between the concrete and the blockwork walls.

Project credentials




King's College London


Project Manager: Red Kite Project Management
Architect: NBBJ
PQS: Turner & Townsend
Structural Engineer: AECOM
Services Engineer: WSP

“The four storey reinforced concrete frame has an additional 7m double basement.”
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