Priory Medical Centre Warwick, UK
The new Priory Medical Centre replaces two nearby outdated medical practices.
Priory Medical Centre and Cape Road Surgery merged prior to our appointment therefore there was a requirement for a new, modern, larger facility.
We regularly engaged with both Practices to fully understand their particular mode of delivering Primary Care; something that differs from practice to practice. Through the design briefing process we discussed and suggested alternative care delivery methods that could vastly improve their operations, enhance patient experience and provide access to a far greater range of services.
Flexibility of service was a key component. The new facility needed to be able to adapt to an ever changing Primary Care landscape.
The early design discussions were pre Covid pandemic, however the ability to partly isolate areas of the building and provide the capability for remote consulting were ideas we proposed to the Practice and are incorporated in the finished building. This is one example where we challenged the design brief to improve flexibility of service, which have proved to be invaluable during the pandemic.
The site location near the centre of Warwick is particularly sensitive. The site adjoins Priory Park, and the location features in Canaletto’s 18th century painting ‘The Town and Castle from the Priory Gardens’. Prior to commencing any design work, we engaged with Archaeology Warwickshire heritage consultants and worked closely with Warwick District Council’s Urban Designer. We also engaged and consulted with a number of local community groups, including ‘The Friends of Priory Park’
Our deep understanding of the Primary Care sector, enables us to reach far further than just designing a building.
The design was a real challenge. In order to achieve the required quantum of accommodation, the mass of the building needed to be three storeys; significantly taller than the existing derelict building occupying the site. Given this, it quickly became apparent that a contemporary approach was appropriate in lieu of a pastiche vernacular, a view shared by Warwick DC. Despite this, a three storey mass did cause some consternation. Working closely with the design team engineers, we formulated early on in the process innovative construction solutions that would mitigate the floor to floor heights. We further designed in two semi atrium spaces that would offer spatial relief from the lowered floor to ceiling heights.
In Warwick, our sector knowledge and experience was particularly important: The rental income from the CCG for the development had already been secured prior to our engagement. This is unusual; typically we are party to such discussions and regularly provide evidence to the District Valuer to help secure the correct level of funding.
The pre determination of funding, put significant pressure on tightening up the construction cost. This was exasperated by a significant time lapse between funding secured and our involvement.
Our challenge was to provide a state of the art facility, within the strict Conservation Area of Warwick to an incredibly tight budget. Our thorough understanding of the NHS specification guidance enabled us to navigate a path that achieved the objective.
The new facility has been lauded by staff and patients alike. The new Priory Medical Centre demonstrates what we can achieve with knowledge, tenacity and our passion.