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PROJECT REPORT: HEALTHCARE BUILDINGS


51


the Victorian brickwork found in the neighbouring headquarters building. The northern side of the new building – encompassing the two prongs of the Y- shape – contains four residential wings, connected by social areas. Between them, the four wings host 48 ensuite bedrooms, all of which overlook either the grounds or the residents’ garden.


The southern section contains more communal areas including catering and dining facilities, a training kitchen for residents, and the fully accessible physiotherapy gym and therapy rooms. The idea behind the configuration – particularly the arrangement of the south block – was to provide scope for QEF to consider opening up the facilities to support other people with similar conditions,” explains Rushton. “This is important because it offers QEF the opportunity to grow while controlling access to the 24/7 residential area.


Bright & airy Heading inside, the objective was to create “bright and airy” interiors. Influenced by ‘biophilic’ principles, the architects specified ‘natural’ colours and textures for materials, bearing practicality in mind.


ADF JANUARY 2020


When it came to the ‘bright’ goal, the practice worked with consulting engineers to make the best use of natural daylight throughout the building. “The strategy was to optimise opportunities for daylighting, while also using glazing to provide a connection to the surrounding woodland,” the architect adds.


The design incorporates full height glazing in a number of areas to achieve this, bringing in high levels of natural light while also “framing key vistas in order to bring the natural world in,” says the architect.


As on the exterior, the connection to the natural surroundings was furthered by the interior’s material palette, as Rushton explains: “It’s about bringing the colours and textures of nature into the building. We used timber internally as a feature material, for frames on the inside of the windows as well as the door frames. Edd tells ADF that the colour palette came in the main from the surrounding woodlands, with shades of greens and golds being prominent: “We used those colours for accenting – in the dining space and the therapy gym, we have acoustic baffles suspended from the ceiling that pick up on that palette.”


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QEF provide highly specialised and personalised care services, which are all tailored around the needs of the individual


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