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Medical centre 'marries security with tranquility'

09 August 2013

The Queensway Medical Centre by maber architects is located on the site of a former burnt-out pub in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, and is said to marry external security with internal tranquility.

From the outside, the 250 sq m two-storey building is a robust, traditional cavity wall construction with Trespa rain screen cladding on the first floor yet it opens into a welcoming double height, glazed atrium that houses the entrance lobby and waiting area. These look onto an internal courtyard, which the designers created because of the lack of scope for external landscaping.

Opened in July, the new building houses a large GP practice and a pharmacy, both relocated from the surrounding area, with 17 consulting rooms, a minor operation room and staff facilities including a training area.

Architect Paul East, a director at maber, says: “It’s a totally new environment – light, open, bright and cheerful – a complete contrast to the practice’s previous facilities. It will transform patients’ experience.”

Carol Willis, Practice Manager at Queensway Medical Centre, said: “Doctors and staff at the Medical Centre are delighted with the new facilities. It has been hard work, but worth it. The whole team pulled together and we are now enjoying the outcome.”

The architects’ specialist interiors team, maber iD, selected furniture and worked with the client on branding including signage.

On maber’s advice, the original owners of the site, the now defunct NHS PCT, acquired neighbouring land from the local authority to allow additional room for a car park, which meant the designers did not have to compromise on space for patients.

There was an unscheduled, two-month delay during construction when the contractors went into administration, and the site had to be secured while maber sought a replacement. This meant the project, begun in June 2012, completed behind schedule but still within a tight £1.4 million budget.

Coincidentally, the desktop archaeological study was carried out by the team who discovered the remains of King Richard III in Leicester where maber is currently working on the new visitor centre.

Since entering the health arena over three years ago, maber has brought experience from the education and commercial sectors. Its record includes the new Urgent Care Centre in Corby and the RICS 2010 Project of the Year, Derby College’s Roundhouse Campus.

Client: Queensway Medical Centre
Architects: maber
Contractors: Stepnell
Structural Engineers: Curtins
Archaeology: University of Leicester

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