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30 Atherleigh Park Hospital

This aerial shot shows the hospital layout and courtyards with Phase 1, the 'adults' building' and central reception, almost complete and Phase 2 under way © AFL Architects

Starting point

AFLs involvement began in January 2012 when it won a design competition to create a new facility for the trust, which provides mental health services across the North West boroughs of Wigan, Warrington, St Helens, Knowsley and Halton, and community health services in Knowsley and St Helens. in England’s North West. The existing Leigh Infirmary hospital site was originally

considered as the location for the new-build before it was moved to the 3.9-hectare vacated ground of Leigh East Amateur Rugby Club. This is a relatively difficult site, constrained by Atherleigh

Way, a busy 40mph dual carriageway, and residential areas to the east and south. Furthermore, it sits two metres below the road and required levelling due to a large east-to-west fall. Taking the location and surroundings into account, AFL

designed the hospital as two buildings linked by a central block. Phase 1 – the adults building – contains the mental health facilities and single-sex wards and will open in the autumn. Phase 2 – the LLAMS building – due to open early in 2017, holds the facilities and bedrooms for patients with dementia and other memory-related issues. Nestling between both buildings is the hospital’s attractive, timber-clad central entrance block. This contains


the main reception and a cafe for both patents and public with administrative offices situated immediately above it. Tall glaz- ing allows daylight to stream into both levels simultaneously. AFL Associate Neil Milling explains: “We’d spent 18

months researching, consulting with service-users, patients and staff, and preparing drawings for the original Leigh Infirmary location and wanted the new building to benefit from features and concepts we’d developed, albeit in modified form. “There is a lot of brickwork in the scheme to retain a

low-key residential feel where the site borders housing, but we felt the entrance area and block should stand out.” While most of the adults building has a pitched roof, the

central block has a flat roof hidden behind a dipped facia splaying out in two directions. It is reached from outside the hospital via a long, glazed corridor with a raked top, which also interconnects with the wards and clinical areas. “The exterior also has attractive, sustainably-sourced red

cedar cladding over a Kingspan Tek structural insulated panel system (SIP), and by using ‘hit and miss’ mounting we have created an interesting rippled effect,” adds Milling. “There are a lot of shops and commercial buildings on Atherleigh Way and the main entrance design reflects that.” Elsewhere the adults building has SIP and brick-clad Continued on page 32...

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