New Cadaveric Anatomy Academy - Planning Permission Granted

SPACE Architects are excited to announce the new Cadaveric Anatomy Academy at the School of Medicine, Sunderland University, received full planning approval on Christmas Eve 2020.

The scheme includes specialised Wet and Dry Anatomy teaching and learning rooms, a series of dedicated prosection, embalming and body store facilities with supporting accommodation for teaching/technical staff and students.  After a competitive interview process, SPACE Architects were delighted to be appointed, where the project brief and design response was generated to align with the specific requirements at the School of Medicine. 

The design has responded to the Human Tissue Authority standards and elevated clinical and technical engineering demands of such a building.  The dignity, privacy and security of the donor bodies were considered throughout the process, where a fully covered discrete arrival suite affords the solemnity and respect required.

Andrew Bumfrey, Associate Director at SPACE Architects said: 

“Sunderland University provided a great vision for this dedicated purpose-built facility, where we focused on bringing natural daylight to a function which, historically, is often hidden away.  The new building will support a range of dedicated, state-of-the-art learning environments for staff and students, influencing the education of future generations of doctors, nurses and other key healthcare workers. We have balanced the rooflight and window placement to achieve discretion with daylight in a series of specialised and interlinked teaching spaces".

SPACE led the engagement sessions with Debs Patten (Professor of Anatomy), Scott Wilkes (Head of School of Medicine & Professor of General Practice & Primary Care) and Tony Alabaster (Dean of Faculty) as the key stakeholders, together with the Estates Team to develop the concept design, the functional requirements and key room adjacencies.

Prof. Debs Patten said:

“Thanks to the new Academy, students' learning will be enriched, allowing them to appreciate the complex and intricate workings of the human body, as well as the normal anatomical variability which occurs between individuals. Moreover, the opportunity to provide a cadaveric facility and resources will be of great benefit to our surgeons and surgical trainees across the region as we will be able to host cadaveric Continued Professional Development (CPD) Courses”.

The new building can accommodate up to 85-90 students across 3 dedicated teaching zones, functioning as either separate learning environments or as a series of interconnected spaces. The 800m² floor area will enhance the programme of specialised anatomy teaching to medical students and health professionals, further enhancing the facilities at the School of Medicine.

Ian Johnston, Associate Director at SPACE Architects added:

“It’s been an excellent opportunity to engage with Prof. Patten and the School to develop this project with the whole team whilst embracing the challenges of this unique building type. As the project has been recently tendered, we look forward to progressing and anticipate construction in the near future”.

SPACE adopted a collaborative approach to the design together with Identity Consult (PM & Cost), JHP (M&E), BGP (Structural) and Lambert Smith Hampton (Planning Consultants) to develop the Stage 3 design, resulting in the successful planning approval being granted on 24 December 2020.

Read the full press release on Sunderland University's website here.