Southwark, London
2017 - 2020

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ new home provides contemporary office spaces to support new ways of working for its 200+ staff, as well as conferencing facilities and a public café. It enables the College to provide a fully accessible building with an emphasis on health and wellbeing.

The site at 10-18 Union Street in the London Borough of Southwark comprises two existing buildings, of which the North is a converted hop warehouse dating from 1853 and the South was purpose-built for offices in the 1980s. The scheme covers the majority of the existing courtyard with a new glazed atrium in order to provide a new main entrance and College reception/events space. Located within this atrium a large helical stair that joins the two existing buildings, helping to address existing floor level differences, and creating a new dynamic, central sculptural feature.

“10 Union Street is a new hub for women’s health which is designed to bring people together to share ideas and experiences. It is a model for the kind of flexible, social workspace that will become essential in a post-Covid world. The light-touch design approach we have taken transforms the experience of using the buildings whilst re-utilising most of the existing building fabric on the site”.

Simon Erridge
Director, Bennetts Associates


The full completion of the building was marked by the installation of the floor-to-ceiling bespoke feature wall sitting at the end of the atrium, just by the main entrance doors. The significance and scale of the wall is reflected by the careful perforations punctuating the surface to create the full heritage crest of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (while also performing as an acoustic absorption layer) .


Prior to construction, the design was meticulously mocked up by the project team using AutoCAD, 1:1 paper prototypes and also 1:1 panel mock-up samples.

Now, the crest can be seen through all areas of the building as you walk by office windows, on the different levels on the helical staircase, up-close or at a distance. Moreover, at different hours of the day, an interesting play of light is created as the shadows of the crest change depending on the amount of natural light passing through.


I thought of the fabulous staircase, which seems somehow like the most beautiful metaphor for the work of the college. I love the fact that a building dedicated to improving women’s health across the world, through education, training and the support of doctors throughout their careers, should have that rising sense of hope and aspiration, curling on up and heading for the sky.

Nicole Farhi, Sculptor 



Project Information

  • Client
  • The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
  • Area
  • 56,000 sq ft NIA
  • Principal Contractor
  • 8build
  • Structural Engineer
  • Integral Engineering
  • Services Engineer
  • KJ Tait
  • Project Manager / Quantity Surveyor
  • Burke Hunter Adams
  • Acoustic Engineer
  • MACH Acoustics
  • Fire Engineer
  • JGA
  • CDM Consultant
  • David M. Eagle.Ltd