Reporter: Covid-19 Surge Capacity Lab King’s Cross

A monument to high-quality, rapid design and construction, by KB Architects, fit-out specialists Portview and consultants Stace and Taylor Project Services

Words by Sophie Tolhurst
Image by Gary Britton Photography

Located in the Halo Building, King’s Cross, London, a new Covid-19 Surge Capacity Lab, completed by KB Architects, fit-out specialists Portview and consultants Stace and Taylor Project Services, will help process 10,000 Covid tests per day. The 500m2 testing facility will be used by pathology provider Health Services Laboratories, in partnership with University College London. This is the second project the teams have collaborated on, following the recently completed London Cervical Screening laboratory in the same building.

This new project was completed in just three months in response to a government call for additional Covid-19 testing facilities. This impressive feat was achieved by operating a 24/7 site able to remain open due to stringent Covid-compliant safety measures. Double factory shifts allowed the specialist joinery to be completed on time, and Portview was able to source required materials from outside the UK despite the disruption to the global supply chain from the pandemic.

The existing laboratory spaces in the Halo Building have been refurbished, ensuring flexible clinical spaces benefitting from natural light, views and high ceilings, while new specialist features installed include a pressurised CL2 PCR room with multiple real time PCR diagnostic analysers, four automated sample lifts to transfer couriered samples to the laboratory level, and 22 new safety cabinets.

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