A small but innovative glass and timber cube building houses a radical concept to explore how designers and clinical practitioners can work together to improve healthcare.

The HELIX Centre is the result of a collaboration between Imperial College London, Health Trust’s St Mary’s Hospital and the Royal College of Art (RCA) School of Architecture.

The philosophy behind it is simple: real medical breakthroughs occur when people-centred design and scientific rigour collide. The RCA contributes creativity and user-centred design expertise and Imperial College London contributes clinical, engineering and scientific know-how.

The role of the RCA School of Architecture was fundamental. The studio was designed by the winners of an invited design competition at the RCA School of Architecture, students Ralf Alwani, Joanna Hyland and Matthew Volsen.

The HELIX Centre building is a prototype, a simple cube-shaped pavilion which aims to reflect the innovative principles of the HELIX initiative. Timber is used to serve as structure, architecture, interior and furniture.