ACA has designed a £6m new-build Allam Diabetes Centre within Hull Royal Infirmary. Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust approached ACA to carry out the exciting designs.
Importantly, Hull City owner Dr Assem Allam generously donated £6m to the Trust to design and build the Allam Diabetes Centre. Particularly, the Centre will care for and treat patients with diabetes and metabolic bone diseases. Moreover, these facilities will bring greater longevity to people’s lives. Not only, they will improve recruitment to Hull’s hospitals and generate investment.
From the outset, ACA sought to develop a people-focused design with a welcoming environment and a de-institutionalised feel. Therefore, to create the best healing environment for service-users, and working areas for staff, the chosen form and materials needed to:
- Maximise natural daylight.
- Be robust.
- Complement the white cladding of the adjacent Women and Children Hospital.
Firstly, the glazed entrance and atrium is the main feature to create welcoming embrace for the users approaching the building. In addition, the design of the two towers maximises light, views, and ventilation control. Inspiration for the building’s organic plan came from the anatomy of the major organs affected by diabetes. Thus, it is wrapped in a skin of porcelain cladding, a metaphoric protection for the organs and the building. Moreover, the colour mirrors the white colour of the monolithic Women and Children Hospital with an alternative design geometry.
Secondly, the selection of materials achieve a contemporary feel yet introduce an innovative take to express the building’s form. The structure will be constructed using a metsec structural system with elevations wrapped by rainscreen cladding and curtain walls.
Thirdly, the single-storey part of the building will boast a garden roof. Thus offering an external amenity space for the Centre’s patients and maximising natural light for the existing adjacent building.
Finally, the main entrance lies on the axis generated by the visual link, opening access to a central triple height atrium and a street corridor linking to a service access at the rear of the building. The concept of two blocks connected by a glazed atrium makes reference to other buildings within the hospital campus, breaking the massing yet creating a connection with the volume of the Women and Children’s Hospital.
Use of Space
The new building structure will include as follows:
Ground Floor: a large waiting area and reception, office space, consulting rooms and specialist treatment rooms with associated ancillary facilities.
First Floor: individual and open plan offices and training rooms.
Second Floor: research consulting rooms, offices, store areas and roof void.
I am impressed with ACA’s creative approach to the brief and responsiveness to challenging timescales.