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View: Grid List
Date
1985
Region
UK
Sector
Health
Budget
< £1m
Themes
Context Collaboration
Client
West Lambeth Health Authority
Location
London Borough of Lambeth
Size
1,158sqm
Contact
Robin Nicholson
Team
Axtell Yates Hallett, FJ Samuely & Partners, Max Fordham LLP, Ian Smith (Consultancy) Ltd, Walter Lawrence & Son
Awards
PA Award for Innovation (1988) RIBA Regional Award (1988) Civic Trust Award (1987)

Overlooking its own beautiful garden, the centre is designed to accommodate short-stay patients cared for by in-house nurses, therapists and their own GP. 

Lambeth Community Care Centre

The Lambeth Community Care Centre was an innovator in its mission to provide medical treatment to patients in a home style environment. It was found that this style of care regime was highly effective both in terms of the patients’ health and the cost of care giving. 

It has a day unit at street level with physiotherapy, dentistry, chiropody and speech therapy as well as spaces for eating and sitting. 

Upstairs, bedrooms for 20 (4 fours and 4 singles) with a sitting room and a staff room open out onto a south-facing terrace overlooking the landscaped gardens.

The main stair is placed in the conservatory which links the two floors. This ‘extra’ space has become the most popular place for patients to connect with nature while feeling protected.

 

“Above all the building not only assists therapy but is therapeutic in its own right. Ward patients ask for curtains to be opened, look out at the trees and want to get out of bed. Its beauty and intricacy teases one to explore and encourages patients to walk and become independent.” 

Jules Lubbock, Architects Journal, October 1985

Context

The location for the Care Centre was the part of the site of the disused Lambeth General Hospital. It had previously been used to represent the South Bronx in the film ‘Death Wish II’, starring Charles Bronson. The site was derelict and unprepossessing. 

The long, thin design of the Care Centre has an entrance forecourt on the north side and creates a protected garden oasis on the south.

Collaboration

The design was developed with consultation over every detail with a project team of professional users. We put forward models of how it might appear to a series of meetings, large and small – we listened and drew what we could truly imagine. 

The gardens were developed during a series of community ‘plant-ins’. It has consistently won prizes and is much enjoyed by staff, patients and their friends. 

In 1992 the Care Centre was singled out by Professor Tomlinson as a model for the development of Community Health Services in London.

Bird houses in the garden in May 2011