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FLOYD SLASKI LLP - 39/43 PUTNEY HIGH ST, LONDON SW15 1SP - T: 020 3910 2400 - E: FSP@FLOYDSLASKI.CO.UK - COMPANY NO: OC400574

healthcare architects design architecture medical educational sustainability laboratories green energy eco creative technology commercial conservation planning listed building construction development residential 

ACUTE HEALTHCARE

ED, 

CRITICAL CARE  

& THEATRES

healthcare architecture
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Healthcare
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healthcare architects design architecture medical educational sustainability laboratories green energy eco creative technology commercial conservation planning listed building construction development residential 

Featured Project: Crisis Cafe, Lewisham Hospital

EXISTING SPACE BEFORE REFURBISHMENT:

Photographer: Sally Cooke

MAIN SPACE AFTER REFURBISHMENT:

Photographer: Sally Cooke

The crisis café was a fast track project involving a full refurbishment with external and entrance alterations.

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Our brief was to convert what was an unused children’s nursery into a ‘Crisis Café’ for use by low level mental health patients. The café is located on the site of University Hospital Lewisham, and will offer people who are feeling distressed a person to talk to in a relaxed, non-clinical setting which aims to help them avoid spending extended time in the emergency department or as an inpatient at the hospital.

 

The client was a partnership between Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and mental health charity Certitude. Briefing and design development meetings involved all parties including patient / user representatives. It was a very hands-on process, with weekly sessions held within the actual space that was to become the café, so there could be a lot of pacing out areas. This enabled even those who had little building design experience to understand the plans and be able to provide opinions and approvals quickly. This was essential to meet the very tight programme target to open the facility in time for the increased festive period mental health demand.

 

A key requirement that came out of the consultation process was the facility was to have the feel of a non-clinical space and it was not intended for high level mental health patients, meaning the usual infection control and anti-ligature requirements did not have to be complied with.

 

The main café area is an open plan flexible space is designed to evolve over time with further furniture, planting, patient artwork and musical instrument additions and donations encouraged.  We created a natural feel with timber finishes and light green walls to complement the client’s sky blue furniture. The space is well day-lit from 3 sides. Acoustic design was identified as an important aspect. To achieve a non-reverberant environment, we specified a natural wood wool acoustic board to line the soffit which also helped greatly in avoiding an institutional or clinical feel. The acoustic soffit proved to be transformative, with the benefits easily evidenced by experiencing the acoustic contrast between the adjacent rooms which have plasterboard ceilings and the main café space with its wood wool ceiling.

 

The ancillary spaces include a kitchen, wheelchair accessible toilet, staff office and multi purpose room. The general arrangement was developed to keep costs within budget by working closely with the existing plumbing infrastructure and also to ensure that all inhabited rooms could be day-lit. Two new window openings and an emergency escape door were created.

 

A new dedicated entrance for the café was needed, for a sense of privacy and increased feeling of being away from the clinical functions of the hospital. The new entrance was located via the existing nursery garden which involved alterations to the existing fence, a new metal gate and intercom, ground level alterations for step free DDA compliance and a new entrance canopy over the entrance doors. The garden fence was extended vertically using a trellis to increase security whilst maintaining a domestic feel.

Photographer: Sally Cooke