A 1960s office block in St.John’s Wood was acquired by private healthcare provider HCA International in order to relocate its extensive outpatient facilities from the nearby Wellington Hospital. Delivered by Avanti Architects in partnership with Balfour Beatty, the completed project provides a potential model for the regeneration of post-war office buildings as high-grade healthcare accommodation.
The converted building now offers approximately 7000 square metres of health care spaces, including outpatients, imaging, diagnostics and oncology departments. Fifty consulting rooms and four operating theatres, combined with preparation, recovery and treatment spaces, supply facilities for day-care treatment.
Works included a complete internal remodelling, as well as a comprehensive upgrade of structure, finishes and services. Enhancements to vertical cores were essential to fire strategy, and escape routes and fire compartmentation had to be integrated.
Remaining lift cores were upgraded, and new ones formed within the existing fabric. While converting the structure, the building footprint was maximised with the creation of generous extensions.
A new front extension has transformed the main entrance and reception areas into generous, light and welcoming spaces for arriving patients and visitors. It also contains a catering zone with bright and open seating/waiting areas. Frameless structural glazing along the extension perimeter enhances the overall building appearance. A minimalist glazed canopy offers cover to the drop-off zone for arriving patients.
Implementing 21st century healthcare facilities within an existing office building structure required effective and innovative design solutions. The basement, previously used as an underground car park, was extended and transformed into a modern imaging department. The demands of today’s screening equipment required extensive and innovative detailing for both existing and new construction interfaces.
New clinical accommodation had to be inserted within the limitations of an existing structure that offered ceiling heights of just 2.8 metres. The distribution of services within constricted ceiling voids required creative solutions with carbon fibre strips used to strengthen the existing structure without impacting on the limited available space. Operating theatres were located on the top floor where roof levels could be raised locally, creating essential space for services distribution near to new plant on the roof.