A healthy dose of colour

Monday 03 Oct 2011

Architects collaborate with colour artist to create landmark hospital

Completed in 2010, King's Mill Hospital was designed by Swanke Hayden Connell Architects on behalf of the Skanska Innisfree consortium for the Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The project comprises 28 new wards, a new state-of the-art diagnostic and treatment centre, a new emergency care and assessment centre and a dedicated Women and Children's Centre. Swanke Hayden Connell worked with colour artist Ptolemy Mann to develop an approach to colour to support the Trust's objectives for a building with civic presence which would become a landmark for the people of Mansfield and the surrounding area. This close collaboration resulted in an ambitious proposal utilising colour across the entire building.

The original, confused arrangement of buildings and entrances has been resolved to create a public, civic, front-of-house side to the hospital, with a new unified main entrance and a more private, back-of-house staff and facilities side.

The clarity of this approach continues within the building with the outpatient departments located closest to the main entrance and the inpatient facilities behind them. The inpatient rooms are located on the upper floors of three towers with views towards the entrance and across the reservoir, allowing patients to orientate themselves within the hospital and town, and to enjoy long distance views into the landscape.

Colour was a natural and important tool to create harmony and diversity throughout the hospital. A warm inviting orange denotes the main entrance. On either side the colours cool through the spectrum; a carefully graded series of tonal colours in transparent film and glass spandrel panels. At the edges of the front façade the colours shift to cool greens and blues linking the building with the natural landscape surrounding it. The three towers each have their own colour in varying tones, giving a sense of depth and movement.

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