New day care facility provides primary care for the Grassy Park community in Cape Town
The brief was to replace the existing run-down clinic with a new day care facility providing primary health care services. The site was large enough to locate the new building at one end, effectively filling the urban block and completing the main road street scape. This also allowed the original clinic to continue to function during the construction of the new facility.
The design intent was to create a bright and friendly healing environment. A courtyard plan was conceived with a transparent main waiting area within the courtyard. The main waiting area is the focal point around which the circulation areas and the smaller ancillary rooms are located. The main waiting area is a large volume with a roof that is supported on tall tree-like columns, with an abundance of light and views into the landscaped courts. The width of the circulation around the courts varies to create sub-waiting areas.
The entrance to the building faces onto the main street of Grassy Park. Together with the entrance, the space between the main street and the building is designed with built-in seating, planting, trees, paved surfaces and a covered waiting area, all contributing to the making of public space. The threshold from the main street into the building is defined by a thickish and brightly decorated outer wall that wraps around the street edge. On the other two street edges, the building is set back with landscaping between the building and the residential surrounds.
The building has been well received by the users and the Grassy Park community who campaigned tirelessly for their new facility. At the official opening ceremony, the Provincial Minister of Health said that once you walked into the building it was 'impossible to feel sick'.