Above: Orangery Garden House, plans elevations, sections and 3D visualisations.
Below, 3D development model of the project, be sure to try in VR, you can get up on the roof! (virtually)
Exeter, Devon, England
Architecture for healthcare carries specific responsibilities, which have been the subject of debate and change since the first sanitoria. As those with a dislike of hospitals will tell you, medical facilities sometimes seem to reinforce unwellness, rather then health. This is an understandable psychological response, as we don't tend to visit doctors or hospitals when we are fit. The paradox of a place for the unwell that is supposed to feel healthy has fuelled many theories that touch the core of architecture itself, and produced innumerable different design approaches.
Technical demands such as hygiene, staff and patient security, confidential record keeping and waste disposal constitute a non-negotiable base to the brief, over which the architect will hope to create an environment that is welcoming, calming and allows for privacy and comfort for people (patients) who by definition are not at their best when they are there. Add to this the need for staff to have a supportive working environment, for their very demanding jobs, and the complexity of the challenge starts to emerge.
This project was the design of a General Practitioner's (GP) surgery for the homeless and vulnerably housed in Exeter, about 500 people with diverse and complex needs. The premises is appended to a wellbeing centre, Exeter's Co:lab, which houses service providers that may also be involved in the patient's lives, the aim being a single building with shared access, resources and an ethos of improving aspirations and outcomes for all.
The surgery was allotted about 300 sq. m. of the Co:lab building, a huge empty warehouse in Exeter. The open, well-lie space offered an opportunity to practice a quasi-structuralist approach, taking cues from archtypes of settlement, to create an environment with a natural domesticity.