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49


BUILDING PROJECTS


QUEEN ELIZABETH’S FOUNDATION FOR DISABLED PEOPLE’S CARE AND REHABILITATION CENTRE, LEATHERHEAD


Building


independence


A new centre for a disability charity consolidates its existing buildings and combines therapy areas with a homely residential environment, supporting the development of the organisation’s specialist care provision. Jack Wooler speaks to architect Edd Rushton


new Care and Rehabilitation Centre is being constructed for Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People (QEF) at the disability charity’s Woodlands Road campus near the Surrey town of Leatherhead.


A


As part of a consolidation of its facilities, the £15m new addition is set to bring a host of benefits and assistive technologies to the charity’s repertoire.


Designed by LOM architecture and


design, and built by contractor Buxton, the project is intended to provide a specialist care service for people with complex physical disabilities and neuro- rehabilitation for those with an acquired brain injury – and its design contains many considerations to cater to such complex client needs. At 4,000 m2


, the centre is the largest


ever investment in the charity’s 85-year history, and will provide 48 ensuite bedrooms, a fully accessible physiotherapy gym, therapy rooms, and recreation, dining and social spaces.


The masterplan


The new centre is located in a picturesque woodland setting in the green belt, with close connections to Leatherhead. The building, which is currently approaching completion, is configured around a landscaped quad, which, along with the more private resident’s garden at the rear,


helps the project harmonise with its surrounding landscape. Before this however, the first step for QEF was to consolidate its existing buildings on the site. The demand for services had been growing substantially, seeing the charity going from supporting around 1,000 people in 2012 to over 5,000 in 2018. LOM, who have a long working relationship with the charity, were commissioned to develop a strategic masterplan that would achieve the consolidation, while simultaneously advancing the site’s reach and function.


“It was through this process that we helped the charity to realise the potential of their site,” says Edd Rushton, associate at LOM architecture. “The project emerged out of that masterplan and is key to delivering their vision.”


The vision was to bring together the


charity’s multidisciplinary residential care teams under one roof. QEF has been based at the Woodlands Road campus since the 1930s, which to this day hosts Leatherhead Court, its Victorian-built headquarters to the south of the new scheme. Up until the current project however, the site also comprised a number of separate, disparate buildings set over a large area. “The buildings were from a whole host of different eras, right through from the 50s, 60s, and 70s onwards, and were time


ADF JANUARY 2020 WWW.ARCHITECTSDATAFILE.CO.UK


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