Architects for Health Design Charette – Day Four – Morning

Day four began with a coach tour of some precedent hospitals near to Elephant & Castle where the Charette was based. The first stop was Sunshine House by AHMM;

Architect Thomas Gardner from AHMM together with the manager of the centre were present to show us around. It was interesting to hear from both of the guides as each had different perspectives. In all I felt the place was very successful and the staff seemed to make good use of the spaces. The next stop was Kaleidoscope by Van van Heyningen Hayward;

Kaleidoscope is a similar sized medical centre to Sunshine. I was less impressed with this centre as although it seemed inviting from the outside, the interior was far more sterile and generally cold. The building is oriented around a courtyard which is positive, but there seemed to be some opportunities missed, such as a green roof that was unaccessible, and some ‘treatment rooms’ that had been since converted to store cupboards due to their poor layout. Finally the upper floors that held the staff facilites and offices seemed far more open and inviting than the patient areas, a ratio I would have probably reversed. The final stop was to the Royal Naval Hospital on the bank of the Thames;

Touring this grand neo-classical site was a great way to round off the morning and as I hadn’t been here before it was doubly impressive. We took a look at the dining room and chapel in particular, then paused for a group photo before making our way back to the studio to round off the work we would present that evening.

K.

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