Anatomical architecture

24 Feb 2010

Bennetts' Suttie Centre provides new benchmark for medical training facilities

Now complete, Bennetts Associates’ Suttie Centre aims to forge links between medical teaching and clinical practice. The £21m project is a partnership between the University of Aberdeen and NHS Grampian housing state-of-the-art teaching and learning facilities including anatomy teaching spaces; a resource centre; a simulated ward area where students and staff will learn essential and advanced clinical skills; an IT suite running the most up-to- date training applications; and a range of innovative simulators including the UK’s first ‘sim-baby’.

At the heart of the 6,500 sq m scheme, which has achieved BREEAM ‘Excellent’, is a five storey, top-lit atrium, which acts as the meeting point of the two institutions. High ceilings and opening lights optimise natural ventilation adding to the airy, light feel of the internal spaces. A fresh, simple palette of greys and whites is enlivened by a helical staircase and warm oak paneling. The building’s design incorporates a roof top terrace and conference facility, both with views overlooking the city.

Simple, flexible floorplates wrap around the atrium which connects public facilities with informal break-out spaces. Two full size figures composed of MRI scans by UK artist Marilene Oliver are suspended in the atrium space.

On the first floor, a substantial clinical skills facility provides training and meeting rooms, as well as a 220-seat lecture theatre. The building is glazed at ground level, allowing the café to extend out onto the external seating areas.

The use of sustainable, western red cedar cladding on the external façade both compliments and contrasts the grey Aberdeen granite of the surrounding buildings. The envelope of the Suttie Centre is animated further with metal walkways and timber solar shading which adds depth to the façade and is a key sustainable feature for the project.

John Miller, Director of Bennetts Associates, said: “We are delighted with the dynamic, inspiring spaces that the Suttie Centre delivers. By bringing institutions together and encouraging interaction - both educational and social - we hope our design stimulates the exchange of ideas and knowledge.”

Laura Paton

Key Facts

Education Healthcare
United Kingdom

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