Three Building Better Healthcare Awards in a row for Hoskins Architects

What each of the projects share is a client that understands the positive influence good design can have on the way patients access care

Allermuir Health Centre, BBHC Best Primary Care (New Build) 2018

For three consecutive years Hoskins Architects has won the Building Better Healthcare (BBHC) Award for Best Primary Care (New Build), for three different clients, with three new Primary Healthcare Buildings, each with a unique set of challenges. What each of the projects share is a client that understands the positive influence good design can have on the way patients access care.

Hoskins Architects understand that the first step in creating clear patient pathways is to engage directly with both those who deliver and those who access services.

With a wealth of experience in the field they are known for their effective approach to public consultation and understand how important it is to listen and respond in a genuine fashion, enabling meaningful engagement in the design process. Their 2007 Bridge Arts Centre in Easterhouse knits together a series of paths that originally traversed the site on which the building sits, a move directly informed by early consultation with the community. To this day it remains a talking point as a way in which local people influenced the building that whole-heartedly belongs to the people of Easterhouse.

As the challenges faced by the NHS have evolved over the last 70 years so too has the pressure on services and the way they are delivered, with a move towards greater integration of health and social care being delivered within communities.

Making buildings that are open, welcoming, light and bright, with outdoor spaces to look at or enjoy, encourages people to access services within their communities, rather than to hesitate and allow minor health issues to become chronic life-long conditions. The clients who commissioned these three award-winning buildings chose to make very positive statements about health in the communities they serve. All three buildings are designed to be of a civic scale and are healing spaces rather than facilities for processing the unwell.

Hoskins Architects is well known for its often award-winning portfolio of Arts & Heritage buildings such as The National Museum of Scotland, World Museum Vienna and the forthcoming Aberdeen Art Gallery. It is this unique portfolio that has attracted many of their staff over the last twenty years. Their Berlin and Glasgow studios are skilled in developing complex briefs for large national institutions, selling ideas to competitive funding bodies and managing eclectic groups of stakeholders and boards of trustees to create public buildings that tackle core issues such as defining the front door, creating a clear and legible circulation strategy and crafting spaces that lift your heart when you spend time in them.

Primary Healthcare projects have many of the same preoccupations and policy demands these new facilities engage with communities in the same way a gallery or library opens its doors wide to make everyone welcome.

The projects illustrated here, that have won the BBHC Award for Best Primary Care (New Build) for the last three years are all civic in scale, even the diminutive 2018 winner, Allermuir Health Centre. At only 2500sqm the design embraces the challenging, narrow site on a main arterial road. Dwarfed by an adjacent superstore and large school campus, by reducing the building footprint to a minimum its scale to the street is increased, enabling creation of a colonnaded entrance, shielding patients from the busy road.

Allermuir Health Centre, BBHC Best Primary Care (New Build) 2018

Located in the Colinton area in the South West of Edinburgh, Allermuir Health Centre was conceived and designed to bring together the local community by providing accommodation for two local GP practices and a range of NHS Lothian primary care services under one roof. The co-location of facilities for children’s services, podiatry, mental health and the GP surgeries is intended to promote collaborative working as well as improve NHS facilities in the local area.

Eastwood Health and Care Centre, BBHC Best Primary Care (New Build) 2017

Situated in suburban south Glasgow, Eastwood Health and Care Centre was developed as a ‘reference design’ serving as a model for future primary healthcare centres across Scotland, by the NHS, Scottish Futures Trust and hub West Scotland. The brief involved looking at how best to accommodate both NHS and Council run services alongside four GP practices, in order to make the services more integrated and accessible to the community. The client’s vision for the facility recognised that it should function as a community hub, with provision of accommodation for health related, third-sector volunteer groups - recognising the increasing importance of their role in complementing main stream services.

The building was delivered through the Scottish Government’s hub Programme, which sets out clearly defined affordability caps for the capital cost per m 2 , and lifecycle costs for primary care buildings. Early and continuous collaboration with the main contractor, service users and stakeholders was key to achieving a high quality environment, while working within the tight budgetary constraints. The building achieved BREEAM Excellent rating through a combination of high levels of insulation, optimal orientation, natural ventilation and roof mounted photovoltaic cells.

Ballymena Health and Care Centre, BBHC Best Primary Care (New Build) 2016

Ballymena Health and Care Centre, completed in February 2016, was designed by Hoskins Architects and Keppie Design, for Northern Ireland Health Estates. Externally the building is dramatically defined by its saw- tooth roofline, providing a striking addition to the neighbourhood.

The Centre brings together a wide range of primary, intermediary, diagnostic and community health facilities. It provides a ‘one stop’ centre for assessment, treatment, care and the provision of information to the population of Ballymena and the wider Northern Trust catchment area.

The form of the building follows the building line of the adjacent workhouse and housing, with a protective ‘front garden’ providing privacy to the clinical spaces. From both entrances, visitors and patients arrive in a bright, top lit, three storey atrium. This acts as a main arrival and reception volume and provides patients with a clear understanding of the routes to the different clinical departments.

Children's services and assessment departments are accessed directly from the atrium at ground floor level, with views and access to the courtyard garden. The pharmacy and shared meeting rooms are located to facilitate out of hours access, while a café with seating overlooking the courtyard enlivens the atrium and main circulation routes.

The six GP practices and treatment area are located around the first floor of the atrium space. Each GP practice has an open 'shop frontage' with its own reception and waiting spaces overlooking the atrium.

Entrances to the various clinical departments are generous in width and use daylight to improve legibility, with waiting areas taking advantage of views out to surrounding landscape.

Gareth Hoskins, who founded Hoskins Architects in 1998, had a passion for good design and, in particular, designing good healthcare buildings, understanding the positive influence architects could have on these often- complex projects. This is a legacy that firmly remains with his committed studio, currently looking forward to their next big healthcare project: Greenock Health & Care Centre with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, starting on site early in 2019.

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