Cottage hospital given a LIFT

10 Jul 2013

Cottage hospital re-imagined with green-hued 9,500 sq m Finchley Memorial Hospital

In 1908, a small cottage hospital opened in a quiet area of North London, blossoming into a general hospital in 1948 and eventually, a community hospital. As the surrounding residential area began to thrive, this modest healthcare facility began to find its resources stretched and its building in desperate need of updating.

Help soon came in the form of the government initiative Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) which leases properties to Primary Care Trusts or groups of healthcare professionals. Designed by Murphy Philipps Architects the Finchley Memorial Hospital is the necessary expansion and modernisation of this local healthcare facility, which involved demolishing the original cottage hospital to create a state-of-the-art complex for cutting-edge healthcare.

Phase 1 of the scheme involved the construction of a new 9,500 sq m block while Phase 2 saw the creation of a Health Campus designed by FABRIK, including two 5-a-side football pitches and one full-size football pitch. Phase 2 also included the realisation of a memorial garden and therapy garden for use by both patients and staff.

Patients of the Finchley Memorial Hospital visit for a full range of treatments, from primary care services, phlebotomy, rehabilitation, x-rays, diagnostic services and chemotherapy, so it was imperative that the design be fully sensitive to the needs of this varied group of users.

Colour Consultant Frances Tobin was brought on board to work alongside Murphy Philipps Architects, giving guidance on a specific colour palette that would run throughout the new facility. Taking references from the project site, Tobin suggested a series of deep tranquil greens for the externally glazed panels, offset by shades of white across the upper levels.

The memorial garden opposite the main building shares these deep greens and offers a quite space for contemplation. Internally the building sports a décor of slate, wood and chalk white with graduating green elements from vibrant mid tones visible on the exterior through the waiting areas to the paler hues in the consulting, treatment and bedrooms for reassurance and calm.

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