Woodhouse Health Centre
Fairly traditional methods of construction were used to match the existing building. The external shell of the building was constructed quickly and easily, consisting of concrete trench fill foundations and conventional brick and block cavity walls, along with a timber framed roof structure covered with concrete roof tiles on top. Internally, metal framed plasterboard partitions were specified as the light weight could easily be carried by the existing floors. Bespoke timber furniture was designed and fabricated to suit all internal rooms and spaces. The majority of this fit out furniture was manufactured off site to enable a quick and easy site installation.
Part of the brief was to repurpose part of the existing building to address functionality and inclusivity for all users. Objectives included increasing the number of clinical consulting rooms and improving the patient and visitor experience. The angled boundary line of the site created a few challenges; the solution was to design a stepped floor plan arrangement that created a symmetrical and evenly balanced composition, which respected the original building and provided the required accommodation to satisfy the brief. The splitting out of the new reception area and waiting area zones means the main circulation route is always clear of users and obstructions. Wheelchair accessible automatic entrance doors were introduced along with two disabled access reception counters and all doors were over-sized to ensure they were fully wheelchair accessible.
Advanced infection control measures were designed in at an early stage. Such methods were the full height glass screens and integrated intercom systems used on the new reception desks. This future-proofed approach enabled the centre to immediately perform as a major support centre when the Coronavirus pandemic struck in 2020. Parts of the existing building were upcycled, mainly the Glulam timber lintels and bricks. Unlike the original building, alternative materials and systems were used in certain places, such as the pre-finished, rot-proof, maintenance free external windows and doors and the rot-proof, maintenance free through coloured cement cladding board to the roof eaves. Colour psychology was used in the interior design scheme to create calming surroundings, influenced by biophilic design concepts. Enclosed ceilings and light fittings with wipe clean diffuser covers are used to comply with the minimum requirements of the NHS infection control regulations.