Avanti Architects Ltd design Health and Care Centre in Northen Ireland
The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety is creating the infrastructure for a new model of healthcare delivery for the region. This includes the provision of a number of large local Community Treatment and Care Centres to provide a ‘one-stop shop' for local GP practices and a wide range of primary care and community services to improve patient access and reduce pressure on nearby Acute Hospitals.
The latest of these, the Portadown Health and Care Centre, was commissioned by the Southern Health and Social Care Trust to serve the town's population of approximately 32,700 people and contains seven GP practices, dental services, nurse treatment area, rehab services, outpatients, health visitors, social services family planning and a pharmacy.
The compact three storey building has an unusual triangular floor plan derived from its function and its physical context. Externally the triangular plan responds to its site and context. Internally each floor consists of a perimeter of flexible floor space that can be divided up into separate departments, arranged around a central rooflit atrium.
Public access to the upper floors is via a stair and lift core at the centre of the atrium with bridges spanning to reception and waiting areas that overlook external landscaped views. This arrangement makes the building easy to understand and allows for direct access to many departments without patients having to pass through one department to reach another.
Flexibility and Sustainability have been integral concerns in the development of the scheme. The relative size and number of departments can be changed by re-planning the perimeter accommodation and by relocating the access bridges.
Detailed daylight, natural ventilation and thermal modelling were used to assist in the development of the environmental design strategy. Tempered fresh air for the atrium is supplied through an underground labyrinth. A geothermal ground source network located under the car park assists winter heating and summer cooling.