Back to search result

University College Hospital Macmillan Cancer Centre

Back to search result

University College Hospital Macmillan Cancer Centre

  • University College Hospital Macmillan Cancer Centre exterior

A vital new care facility

Hundreds of cancer patients are being treated at a specialist £63 million London hospital, which we have been proud to build. The UCH Macmillan Cancer Centre is named after the Macmillan charity, which donated £10 million towards its funding.

The five-storey building, with an area of 14,000sqm, was designed by Hopkins Architects.

An incomparable project

John Birch, Skanska’s project director, said: “This was by far the most interesting and rewarding project I have worked on in my career. I don’t think that I will ever work on a project like this again. What we have done here really makes a difference to people’s lives. It can mean the difference between life and death. Nothing compares to this.” 

Our flexible approach

A challenge that emerged late in the programme was to ensure the hospital became home to the latest technology, specifically the world’s first PET MR machine. This creates detailed body scans, allowing patients to benefit from the latest technological advances while reducing their exposure to radiation.

It was nearly halfway through the project when the client approached us to accommodate the installation of this machine, which weighed 10 tonnes, or the equivalent of 10 family cars.

We worked in close collaboration with the NHS to change the construction programme. Our team of professionals redesigned a whole floor to enable the machine’s installation. This was achieved within the original time frame and budget. 

Improving the patient experience

The hospital is rated excellent by BREEAM, the world’s leading sustainability assessment method for infrastructure and buildings.

One of the environmental design innovations – a glazing system – maximises the benefit of natural light, creating a pleasant environment for patients and staff. This was an important feature as it is widely acknowledged that natural light promotes a feeling of wellbeing, which aids the recovery of sick, vulnerable patients. 

Engaging with the local community

We are committed to minimising the impact of its construction projects on residents and the local community. Working with the community and building up good relationships was a key objective of this project.

Overcoming objections

During the planning process, the team worked with their neighbours to overcome objections that were initially put forward against the construction of the new hospital.

Common ground was achieved by introducing strict delivery hours to minimise noise at sensitive times, and regular two-way communications took place through updates and monthly meetings with local residents.

Finding out more

More about our services for Healthcare

Our work with Bart’s and London hospitals

Our work with New Papworth Hospital

Our New Karolinska Solna project


Service: Construction
Mark segment: Hospitals
Start date: 2009
Completion date: 2012
Clients: University College London Hospitals (UCLH) NHS Foundation Trust
Country: United Kingdom
City: London
Project status: Completed



Royal Institute of British Architects National Award
Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award at British Construction Industry Awards 2012
Skanska Project Director John Birch won the Construction Manager of the Year
Building Better Healthcare Awards 2012 - Best Specialist Services Design Award (building class)
Winner of the health category at The New London Awards (NLA) 2012