We teamed up with Devereux Architects to design a low-key structure with a residential feel as part of the ProCure 21+ initiative to upgrade Rochford Hospital in Essex. The new buildings will work alongside existing facilities to provide a range of mental health services to the local area.
Set close to several Grade II-listed, early 20th-century buildings, the design needed to be subtle and in keeping with its surroundings. Rooflights draw light into the building, and the pitched roofs formed by pre-formed trussed rafters, casement windows and landscaped gardens give the site the look of a new-build development.
An in-situ suspended slab was designed for the ground floor; this allowed for ground heave and movement, and easily followed the contours of the curved building footprint. Steel and concrete frames were reviewed, but given the small scale of the project and our drive to deliver structures which are efficient in terms of both time and cost, a simple load-bearing structure was chosen. Red brickwork and white render cavity walls made up the façades, while precast concrete planks bore onto an inner skin of load-bearing blockwork. Additional 200 mm internal walls at ground floor were designed to support wide spans above.
On plan, the main building traces a crescent shape between two existing buildings, with a central curved corridor providing access to residential and clinical facilities on either side, including functional assessment and adult rehabilitation units. Understanding the need for future flexibility, we designed a load-bearing wall on just one side of the corridor, introducing a partition wall on the other. In this way, we have ensured that the width of the corridor or rooms can be changed if necessary, without any detrimental effects on the structure.
Refurbishment and extension of a Grade II-listed Essex hospital
South Essex Partnership NHS Trust
£ 15.8 million