- designing the space
A building sensitive to the direction
of light and the seasons
The design brief for GHH posed various challenges
and opportunities, including prescriptive space standards,
derived from NHS guidelines for all accommodation elements.
It asked for:
A building form and layout that would
facilitate extension yet retain visual excellence, extended
Stringent cost limits, set within
normal yardstick costs for accommodation of its type.
Macmon’s architects therefore set out
to respond in a ‘holistic’ way to both the hospitals
operating requirements and the significant environmental issues,
posed by the shape of the site, and its proximity to a busy
rail route. Their solution was to create a L-shaped building
with defensible courtyard. In their design, the interior and
exterior of the building would provide an integrated care
and healing environment, where all patient rooms would have
access to and could be accessed from the landscaped garden.
The chosen layout also meant that the entrance could be located
in the North East corner of the building so that it would
be protected from prevailing south-westerly winds and driving
Principle building elements have also been carefully
planned within the structures efficient and affordable geometry.
Reception and Dispensary elements are centrally located to
optimize access and use, while accommodation elements that
are of lesser significance in constructional terms are intended
to reflect more directly natural forms and layout. Existing
pedestrian routes have been respected and a new in/out vehicle
‘drop off/park’ arrangement has been created.
The general arrangement and juxtaposition of
departments within GHH, creates provide a passive, low energy
hospital environment that it highly functional and beautiful
“Thank you so much for
everything you have created at the hospital. I wonder if you
realise how important it is for those of us who depend upon
it's environment to calm us, strengthen us, and then send
us out into the world to cope for another while.”