Ford Gilpin Riley Architects
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Beacon Health Medical Centre, Exeter

Client: Southernhay House Surgery
Area: 470 m²
Stage: Pre-Construction
Building costs: circa £1m
Description: Detailed Design Proposal


This proposal is for the construction of a Medical Centre, Pharmacy and associated car parking on a site at the former “Exhibition Fields” in Exeter. The land is gently sloping from north to south and is a grassed area used predominantly for informal recreation. Due to the sloping nature of the land the new building can be sited at a much lower level compared to the residential properties to the north. This factor will mean that it will have a negligible effect upon outlook and views from those properties.

The new facility is a General Practice Medical Centre containing G.P Consulting rooms, a Treatment room and associated Nurses Consulting room as well as Reception Area, Waiting area and patient toilets plus related Administrative and Staff / Practice facilities. Additionally, there will be a Pharmacy for the sale and dispensing of medicines, prescriptions and miscellaneous health and lifestyle related products. The proposed building is generally arranged on a single floor level [there is a small records / resources store on an upper level]. The Pharmacy is entered either direct from outside or from a shared lobby adjacent to the main entrance to the complex. The main entrance is orientated in the direction of the main pedestrian routes leading towards the facility. The treatment of the main entrance with the selective use of a “Ski-slope” roof enables us to signify and to celebrate the point of entry through the media of increased scale, volume, light and space. The building and its layout is designed in such a way that it would be capable of enlargement at a later date if required.

In addition, the internal layout has been carefully considered to make best use of both outlook and sunshine. The development of the new Medical Centre will include the provision of a new cycleway / footpath link across the frontage of the site. This will link the existing pedestrian routes in the vicinity with the new complex and ensure safe and easy access to the building.

The clean, contemporary looking materials like off-white smooth faced polymer render walls for the upper part and smooth faced Staffordshire ‘blue’ brickwork for the lower part as well as Silver raised seam metal roof finish and Windows & Doors with blue or green solar-control glass reflect the special purpose of the facility and underline its role within the community within which it is located. As a result the building will appear welcoming and non-institutional in character.

© Ford Gilpin Riley Ltd, Ford House, Broadclyst, Exeter, Devon, England EX5 3HU
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