Building Better Health completes construction of Grand Union Village Health Centre

Set to provide Ealing’s local communities with vastly improved healthcare facilities, the construction of Grand Union Village Primary Health Centre has been completed for Ealing Primary Care Trust. Delivered by Building Better Health – the private sector property development partner for three London LIFT ventures – the £6.2 million healthcare facility is to officially open in early 2011.

Designed by partner architect Penoyre & Prasad and constructed by main contractor Willmott Dixon, the 2,500m2 five-storey building will serve as a key element of the new Grand Union Village, which itself forms part of the Sustainable Communities Plan, a £38 billion Government funded scheme to improve people’s homes, neighbourhoods and overall quality of life.

Adopting Building Better Health’s local approach as utilised on previous LIFT schemes, Grand Union Village Health Centre houses many vital health and community services under one roof. With this modern approach to healthcare, local residents will benefit as they no longer have to visit multiple locations or endure unnecessary and time-consuming referrals. This also proves ideal for practitioners as communication between them is greatly improved, allowing more time to provide an efficient and superior level of service.

Located adjacent to the Grand Union Canal, the new centre incorporates the relocation of clinics from Ravenor Park and Tangmere Gardens. It also offers flexible accommodation for three GP practices, podiatry, specialist dentistry, family planning, mental health, and a minor surgery and treatment suite. As well as this, specialist child health and paediatric therapy services will be available, as will a base for health visitors and community midwives.

In the building’s design, Penoyre & Prasad incorporated two large light wells to create clarity vibrant and easily navigable interior and to positively address the challenge of naturally lighting the deep plan building. From the main waiting area, colour has been incorporated to identify individual floors. From the ground floor, treelike murals draw the eye to the glazed roof, revealing bands of colours, ranging from pale blue on the ground floor to rich green on the fourth floor.

Predominantly located around the perimeter of the building, many patient and staff rooms are naturally lit with generously sized openable windows, allowing the provision of natural ventilation when required. Alongside the incorporation of the rooflights to light the building’s central core, this strategy provides staff and patients with optimum levels of daylight and minimises energy use in such spaces.

Externally, the natural lighting of spaces is expressed through generous quantities and sizes of windows. Enclosing the main public spaces of the building, a curved area of cladding has created an attractive and animated arrangement of these windows. The cladding’s colour, a natural yet vibrant hue similar in appearance to pre-patinated copper, provides contrast with materials used elsewhere within the Grand Union Village, drawing visitors towards it. This projecting skin provides a legible entrance and forms a significant landmark element.

“NHS Ealing is delighted to announce the opening of Grand Union Village Health Centre which will provide primary care and community health services,” commented Rochelle Bloch, Assistant Director at NHS Ealing. “The health centre will offer extended opening hours including evenings and weekends and we would hope that it will become a resource for the whole community.”

Grand Union Village Health Centre is the second stage in a 25 year healthcare development for NHS Ealing. It follows the successful completion of another LIFT scheme at Jubilee Gardens Health Centre and Library, also designed by Penoyre & Prasad and built by Willmott Dixon, helping to provide an outstanding level of healthcare services for Ealing’s local community.

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