A PIONEERING PROJECT IN THE EVOLUTION OF UK HOSPITAL DESIGN
The ACAD Centre for Central Middlesex Hospital was the first ambulatory care facility in the UK and became, clinically and architecturally, a pivotal building in the development of hospital design in the UK.
Opened in 1999 by then Prime Minister Tony Blair, ACAD challenged old practices and traditional design. The clinical model and the design of the building presented a persuasive example of how the practice and architecture of health care could be radically improved. It is clear that ACAD influenced government policy and was an agent in their investing in a new generation of facilities. It also became a benchmark within the NHS for the quality which can be achieved within standard budgetary constraints.
The building was designed as an entirely ambulatory facility to achieve an absolute separation with the hospital’s existing inpatient facilities. It contains imaging and consultation suites on the entrance level with day case theatres endoscopy and recovery areas above. John Cooper led the team which won the international competition and then developed the detailed brief and functional content with a tight knit project team.
The layout was based on the radical notion of streamlining patient journeys. A glazed gallery runs the length of the building, through which every patient journey is made in daylight. All the waiting areas are located within this public place looking out into landscaped courtyards. Light floods into every part of the building. The floor plates are skinny and the section through the recovery areas on the upper level is designed with clerestory windows and linear roof lights.
The theatre design was one of the first in the UK to adopt the US/European model grouping theatres around clean storage areas and dispensing with specific anaesthetic and scrub rooms.
The project has won several awards, attracted visitors from all over the world and, more importantly, proved to be a much liked facility for staff, patients and the local community.