Sector: Conservation, Healthcare, Interiors
Project value: £1.5million
Project stage: Complete
Gibberd’s interests in healthcare design and conservation architecture lead to our appointment for the refurbishment of the ground floor and basement of the East Wing of St. Bart’s hospital located in Smithfield, East London. This was part of an overall reorganisation of the hospital that saw services relocated from existing outpatient areas to the East Wing.
Originally constructed in the 1700s, the St. Bart’s East Wing is a Grade I listed building located within the hospital’s main square and as one of the U.K.’s oldest hospitals, is regarded as a significant piece of London historical architecture. The exterior, main stair and ward areas are particularly noted as being of heritage benefit by City of London Planners and English Heritage.
Subsequently, the architects involved sought to create a healthcare design that respected the hospital’s historic fabric whilst also meeting contemporary clinical needs. This involved reversing unsympathetic modifications in order to provide a clearer presentation of the design of the original building and retaining any existing historic design features. Of particular interest was the main reception which had been the subject of multiple adaptations over the years. Here, the conservation architects at Gibberd sought to reinstate coving similar to the 18th century pattern found at St. Bart’s West Wing and expose the building’s original soffits by removing partitions and false ceiling. The materiality of the interior design was also influenced by archive photographs and selected to meet infection control standards.
By removing operating theatres, scrub rooms and other various spaces that were regarded as no longer fit for purpose, Gibberd was able to create a healthcare design for an out patients department on the ground floor that could provide much needed consultant rooms, staff offices and utility spaces. The Gibberd design also involved sensitively adapting the basement to create viewing rooms that respected multiple faiths.