Ford Gilpin Riley Architects
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Heavitree Health Centre, Exeter

Client: The Heavitree Practice
Area: 750 m²
Stage: Completed in 2002
Building costs: £1m
Description: Alteration and Extension

The existing Health Centre, which is within the Heavitree Conservation Area, was built in 1979 and has operated as a multi group practice centre since that time. The Centre is occupied and now jointly owned by 2 practices which operate independently of one another and have their own nursing teams and specialist practitioners.

The provision of extension to form accommodation at first floor level together with the construction of a new 2 storey extension at rear as well as a new single story main entrance took account of the shortcomings of the former accommodation and made provision for the independent needs of the 2 practices. The new parts of the building have been used as a means of re-invigorating which was before a very dowdy and uninspiring block. We envisaged that the crisply – detailed areas of glazing and a related cladding system, generously overhanging roof envelope and more contemporary treatment of these areas in general – utilising a palette of suitable colours and tones, does not only lift the appearance of the building as a whole but also gives it a character that is better suited to its purpose.

The formation of the new public main entrance is an essential part of the overall scheme and its precise location is crucial to the successful integration of the 2 medical practices and pharmacy that it serves. It will not only act as a clear and readily identifiable single means of public access, but it will also collect visitors and distribute them to their desired destination in a clear and effective way.

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