Behind the design - GenesisCare Windsor

We explore the design approach for a new £7m treatment centre in Berkshire

GenesisCare's new headquarters and treatment centre in Windsor has been completed

Providing patient-friendly individualised care was at the centre of the design approach for a new health centre in Windsor, Berkshire.

Ward Robinson project managed the delivery of GenesisCare’s new £7m private treatment centre, which will deliver a range of diagnostic, oncology and wellbeing services.

Designed by CSM Architects, with interiors by Ward Robinson and fitout by DD Porter; the 20,000sq ft facility will also act as GenesisCare’s new UK flagship headquarters.

The delivery of the project was phased, with treatment areas on the ground and first floors and a head office on the second floor.

Images such as swans gliding on water, deer grazing in a local park, and sunlight glinting through trees are used on large-scale wallpapers within the entrance and circulation spaces

GenesisCare has worked with Ward Robinson since 2010 and this is the eighth centre the project management team has delivered.

The company is also currently working on the refurbishment of three further centres in Oxford and Elstree and has just completed a new-build project for the provider in Newmarket.

The unifying inspiration for the design across both the treatment and office areas is nature, counterbalancing the clinical requirements of the project.

The aim was to soften the clinical and technological environment by using calming colours and natural materials.

Slatted timber feature wall panelling incorporating vibrant preserved moss sets the scene for the whole design.

Images such as swans gliding on water, deer grazing in a local park, and sunlight glinting through trees are used on large-scale wallpapers within the entrance and circulation spaces.

And a stylised leaf motif used in textiles on furniture and cushions was the inspiration for the manifestation on the glazed partitions, creating a unified design throughout the facility and reinforcing the connections to nature.

Patient feedback also informed the design of the building.

There was an overwhelming preference for more-vibrant and vivid colours for the general waiting area to create a welcoming and uplifting entrance reception, while reserving more-neutral, calming tones for the treatment rooms and chemotherapy wing.

Timber doors are laminated in Resopal Soft Elm and it is this warm grey colour tone which is replicated in a bespoke stain used on feature wall panelling, skirtings, and joinery items such as banquette seating.

The Soft Elm laminate is further used on fitted cabinets within the treatment rooms and the integrated plumbing system units that house the washbasins in consulting rooms and chemotherapy rooms.

INterior design elements such as a moss feature wall help to enhance the environment for patients and staff

Bright yellow, orange and navy blue accents against warm shades of grey bring the entrance hall to life.

And carpeted areas provide a warm, homely environment to relax in.

Floor-to-ceiling windows create an open atmosphere and natural light, alongside subtle concealed lighting, encourages a feeling of wellbeing.

The bespoke curved reception desk is made of Krion, which was chosen for its longevity and ease of cleaning.

The bespoke timber feature wall panelling consists of varying lengths and thicknesses of timber slats stained in a variety of shades.

The treatment and consulting rooms have a warm and friendly feel to help patients feel relaxed.

For example, in the chemotherapy treatment rooms there are padded, upholstered headboards and diffused lighting which help to soften the otherwise-clinical spaces.

A bespoke wallpaper with a simple stylised allium in subtle warm colour tones provides an uplifting feature to the walls helping to divert attention from the medical equipment in the rooms.

Wall-mounted televisions are set within bespoke warm grey stained timber panelling to match the warm timber-effect vinyl flooring, chosen for a natural feel.

And, in the CT scanning room, where patients are lying down for some time, an image of the sky and blossom is incorporated into the ceiling panels.

The open-plan head office has the same welcoming and informal feel for staff, with an irregular timber and moss feature wall, warm lighting, and pale wood furniture.

Bright colours are used throughout for vibrancy and the ceiling has exposed services.

The client was very keen to incorporate greenery into the environment and peace lilies sit within built-in planters on top of the storage units, which also help to divide the space.

The nine meeting rooms of varying sizes, which can accommodate from 2-18 people, are named after medical pioneers chosen by the client. And glazed partitions allow natural light into the rooms.

Stone-coloured textured carpet with a geometric design continues the natural theme and a striking chevron-patterned timber walkway leads through the workspace to the vibrant café area beyond.

The flooring is timber-effect vinyl, loose laid in planks to allow access below the raised floor.

The building has been designed to be less clinical and was based on feedback from staff and patients

Staff kitchen and breakout areas are next to the office, creating social areas for use throughout the day. They also double as informal meeting spaces and alternative places to work.

Ward Robinson design consultant, Simon Grundy, said of the project: “During the briefing process it became apparent that GenesisCare was looking for a design with more personality than is often associated with high-end clinical and treatment facilities and we were keen to follow through with a boutique hotel-like concept.”

Alex Woods, GenesisCare centre leader at Windsor, added: “For patients the interior is definitely part of why they choose GenesisCare. I have had one patient tell us it’s like going to a spa. They really love it.”

And Sharon Benson, GenesisCare project manager, said: “The head office interior is often commented on with its fresh, calm and modern feel, reflecting the culture of GenesisCare, which has been a great recruitment tool.

“Staff reaction to our activity-based working arrangements, several choices of meeting rooms, and collaborative spaces has been extremely positive.

Our team love the large kitchen and café-style seating is perfect for staff meetings held during lunchtime, creating a more-relaxed, fun way to engage.

Suppliers on the project including Gerflor (flooring); Interface (carpet); Resopal (laminate); Krion by Porcelanosa (reception and nursing station desk material); Morgan Furniture and Albany (furniture); DD Porter (joinery); Signs Express (wall coverings and digital printing); Vantage Spaces (preserved moss); Secto, Tom Dixon, Artimede and Bocci (lighting); and Kristen McCluskie (photography).

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