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36 PROJECT REPORT: HEALTHCARE BUILDINGS


NATURE


The architects HKS included a variety of nature- themed elements throughout, including backprinted glass artworks in lift lobbies


empowering as possible for its adult, teenage and paediatric patients, who have to undergo a daunting and lengthy process. Proton beam therapy uses a large ‘cyclotron’ particle accelerator to generate the protons, which needs to be shielded in concrete – at 6 metres thick at its widest point in this facility, with 2 metre walls common. There are three ‘gantries’ positioned to the rear of the unit in a concrete bunker. These can rotate through 360 degrees to target the beam precisely at a predefined spot before the patient arrives (to lie immobilised on a static ‘robot arm’), the gantries’ structure extending a full three stories.


Procurement & briefing As a result of this being a necessarily technology-led facility, the genesis of this project was equipment vendors expressing interest via an OJEU (Official Journal of the European Union) advert in autumn 2013. “There weren’t many vendors back then who had actually delivered these facilities,” says project architect Franko Covington. The winning firm was Varian, who have worked with The Christie in traditional radiotherapy rooms – and with the architects at the satellite radiotherapy unit the practice designed for Salford Royal Infirmary NHS Foundation Trust. HKS


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came on board with Design & Build contractor Interserve as part of the NHS Procure 21+ procurement framework used for the project, which offers the benefit of cost savings from using preferred suppliers. Interserve also had an ongoing relationship with The Christie, having built a brachytherapy and teenage and young adult unit on the site, a key driver for the architects to sign up with them. Covington adds: “they chose us because we were the only UK practice that had done proton beam internationally.”


The practice visited units in the States as part of its research, however the set up here was going to be somewhat different. Unlike privately-run units, which are designed to throughput patients as quickly as possible while maintaining efficacy of treatment, this unit was designed to prioritise the needs of patients before, after and during treatment, with less pressure placed on maximising revenue.


Covington explains the differences: “Private units have lots of patient prep spaces outside each treatment room, so that one patient can be prepped while another is being treated.” Here, as a result of the patients being prepared in the treatment room, space is freed up outside, and at The Christie the architects were able to provide more space for paediatric recovery.


ADF SEPTEMBER 2019


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