Go-ahead for Macmillan Cancer Support centre in Surrey

Planning permission granted for £1.5m facility in grounds of East Surrey Hospital

An artists impression of the new Macmillan Cancer Support centre

Macmillan Cancer Support has received planning permission to build a new support centre in the grounds of East Surrey Hospital in Redhill.

Designed by Studio 4, the proposed 936sq m building will be sited on disused land on the hospital site and is designed to have a lifespan of 50 years.

The scheme has two curved elements, or arcs. The front is public facing and contains the entrance, reception, office, activity hall and a large open-plan information area. The roof is a monopitch curved fan shape with overhanging eaves, which can be seen on approach. Internally, the monopitch and glulam timber beam structure provides the feeling of an open and welcoming space.

The rear arc is the more-private element of the scheme, accommodating key patient therapy rooms and quiet rooms and ancillary functions. This accommodation has a flat roof and is much lower in height than the front arc. This reflects the low-key and calmer nature of the internal functions.

Four main materials will be used in the construction – white render; blue/grey smooth bricks; grey standing seam zinc roof, guttering and downpipes; and timber Glulam beams, columns and timber-boarded soffits.

They were not selected to relate to the existing buildings on the site, but to focus on a more micro scale, emphasising the main massing of the building and each of the forms. They will be locally sourced and have been selected for their robustness and longevity.

Sustainability is key to the £1.5m project, with plans to include technologies that will help to reduce demand for water and energy while minimising the depletion of natural resources. The building’s orientation, form and thermal performance will also reduce energy demand for space heating, cooling and lighting. The building will be heated by air source heat pumps and will have LED lighting and intelligent controls.

Landscaping is crucial to the design to ensure building users have views to the outdoors. These grounds have been created to be easy to maintain, to look attractive, and to be accessible to all. The design includes a public-facing landscaped frontage and a private rear garden. Gabion walls are to be located along the north, west and southern boundaries and will provide a barrier between the private garden and the public golf course car park and bridleway. A private patio will be located by the activity room so people can spill out without being seen from the quiet or therapy rooms.

Due for completion by the end of 2015, the centre will be the first standalone facility of its kind, providing specialist help for cancer patients in a friendly, non-clinical environment.

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