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The Derwent Centre, Princess Alexandra Hospital

Harlow, Essex

Derwent Centre, Taymar Entrance view

Sector: Healthcare, Interiors, Regeneration
Client: North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Project value: £15,000000
Project stage: Construction

Frederick Gibberd Partnership has been appointed to carry out services from inception to completion for the multiphase refurbishment of The Derwent Centre in Harlow. The project will see the complete redevelopment of this Mental Health Unit to provide refurbishment and extension of existing mental health unit, including an infill extension to the Western elevation, new garden hub and extension to the end of the North wing. The design includes for a new barrel roof, new insulated render cladding and new fenestration all of which will significantly improve the thermal efficiency.

The proposed design allows for a complex phasing plan which will allow the unit to remain in full use during construction. This will involve careful co-ordination with all members of the design and contractor teams. A communal area forms a ‘hub’ or focus to the scheme and overlooks the patient garden, with the main extension arranged so that inpatient wards can be accommodated on the garden level. The new accommodation is generally arranged over two floors with a small area on the lower ground floor utilizing the slope of the site. 

Separate entrances are provided for outpatients and inpatients as well as for the dedicated entrance required under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act and for staff.  The various entrances are articulated to help with way-finding.