Health and Social Care Centre in the West Midlands receives multiple commendations
Steffian Bradley Architects has recently completed a £24.6m flagship Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) project in the West Midlands – the10,000 sq m Brierley Hill Health and Social Care Centre. The project has been awarded a number of commendations:
Community Health Partnerships’ National Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) Awards 2010
Winner – ‘Design’ Category
Highly Commended – ‘Community Engagement and User Experience’ Category
Community Health Partnerships’ National Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) Awards 2009
Winner – ‘Regeneration’ Category
Best of the Black Country Awards 2009
Winner – ‘ Best Regeneration Project’
The building is comprised of two wings containing a mixture of clinical and office accommodation connected by a central core. The entrance to the main lobby and waiting area responds to a familiarity of surroundings within the cultural community it serves. The main entrance at street level leads to a central reception area with a glass roof which forms the heart of the design. This creates a central, semi-civic space and a hub from which all of the building departments are accessed.
The plan form has been designed to maximise its external perimeter allowing more rooms can have opening windows. It is thought to be beneficial for the occupants of buildings to be able to observe a natural circadian rhythm over the passing of the day. Windows and views will allow staff and patients to watch dawn move from day, to dusk. Weather changes, the movement of the sun, and winds (movement of clouds & treetops) can also be seen more readily by the occupants. This has been done specifically to prevent the feeling of being confined in a large, mechanised and enclosed environment, which can allegedly lead to stress of both patients and staff.
Circulation follows simple routes, clear use and animated wherever possible by external views and internal art installations. Main waiting areas have a direct and entirely legible relationship with primary circulation. SBA has organised the building in a way in which patients always know where they are: the 2-storey entrance space around which we have organised all departmental entries and waiting spaces. Access is another key ingredient of facility legibility and orientation is the simplicity of way finding and access to the building and services.