Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
Photographe: Tim Soar
Kentish Town Health Centre (KTHC) is a new health building in central London, housing a large GP practice and a wide range of health facilities. KTHC sets a new standard for the NHS.
The partnership of a local design champion, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) architects, and Camden & Islington Community Solutions has delivered a building where design allows services to be integrated as never before.
Kentish Town Health Centre provides an uplifting, inspiring environment of high quality for users and staff delivered through the LIFT procurement process, setting a new standard for modern health care provision.
The project champion, Dr Roy Macgregor, initiated an RIBA competition for a building won by AHMM. Dr Macgregor’s vision was to create a wonderful building where not only medicine but health and art came together for the community. Ideas of transparency and connectivity were embraced by the architects and the whole team worked collaboratively to create a building that expresses the new, holistic approach to healthcare.
KTHC creates a bold civic presence that responds to its environment. Referencing the brick and stucco, and architectural repetition, scale and forms of the surrounding housing, the ground floor is articulated as a brick plinth, with the rendered forms of the upper floors floating above. Cantilevered rooms at first and second floor provide substantially larger floorplates at these levels whilst allowing a small ground floor footprint and reducing the overall mass of the building.
Jenga The building houses a large GP practice, paediatric, dental and children’s services, breast screening and diagnostic imaging, plus supporting office space, staff facilities, library and meeting rooms. Inspired by the game Jenga, the very complex inter-relationships of these uses were rigorously adjusted to create a very flexible internal space where staff and users feel connected and part of a whole.
Fully accessible ground and first floors accommodate all public and clinical space, whilst the second floor is a private space for use by staff with teaching rooms. Some areas and rooms on the ground floor have been designed to be used out of clinic hours so have their own, discrete routes of access and security.
External Spaces With the landscaping, as many existing trees as possible were retained including a number of London Planes, an Ash, a Lime and a Damson. The new landscape elements were designed to relate to the residential scale of gardens and pockets of green in surrounding streets. A series of small gardens and terraces are carved into the built form. These offer space
to hold a discrete conversation, make a phone call or have a breath of fresh air and are open to both staff and patients.
The Street Internally, the building has been designed around the concept of a street — a generous public/private space that welcomes users and leads them to the reception at the heart of the building from where all services are accessed.
At ground level a more formal, public garden has been designed which connects directly to the main waiting room where the café will be located. There is also a large rooftop terrace accessed from the staff room which is large enough for social occasions in the summer.
Public Building of the Year 2009
RIBA Stirling Prize-Shortlist
RIBA Award for Architecture 2009
LIFT Award for best Design for Healthcare Project 2009
Client: Camden PCT & James Wigg Practice