NBBJ and P+HS completes new cancer care facility for James Cook University Hospital
The project is central to the vision of South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust for major expansion and modernisation of cancer services at James Cook University Hospital with a focus on radically improving the patient environment and associated recovery. Separation of clinical functions frequented by inpatients from those that serve outpatients enabled construction of a new £13m satellite facility for radiation therapy, the Endeavour Unit.
The ambulatory oncology centre allows patients to experience optimum cancer treatment in a holistic environment that is comfortable, efficient, non-clinical and, importantly, where they do not feel fear whilst undergoing the highly stressful procedures of radiation therapy. Simultaneously the BREEAM Excellent certified project regenerates and defines the hospital's north-entrance square, enhancing way-finding and creating a sense of place.
The patients' journey is at the heart of the design. Clinical spaces, including an outpatient's clinic, three linear accelerator treatment bunkers (with flexibility for a forth) and a CT-scanner suite, are placed in individual blocks around a single double-height reception space. Wide gaps between the brick clad volumes open this waiting-space towards landscaped ground, creating a ‘pavilion in a garden' with daylight streaming in. Innovative integration of the historically often intimidating linear accelerator treatment bunkers greatly improves patient access and experience, eliminating the traditional maze like approach featuring 90 degree turns to dissipate radiation.
The result is an easy to read environment, a place that promotes healing through views of nature, natural light & ventilation, and by instilling a feeling of privacy and of being in control. A reduced sophisticated range of finishes including warm large tiles, oak ceilings & privacy-screens, combined with artwork and low-level lighting generate the opposite of a harsh, clinical environment. Back-lit images of local countryside incorporated within ceilings above treatment tables encourage patients to feel relaxed.
A ‘floating roof' clad in reconstituted stone covers the central waiting-space while the CT-suite roof projects to form a covered colonnade, leading patients towards / into the building. These overlapping roof planes generate a welcoming transition from outside to inside, providing shelter for arriving patients and add striking shadow play to the overall composition.
Construction commenced in March 2010 and was completed to programme in September 2011. Delivered below budget, the project returned savings of over £500k to the Trust.