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Curtain walling and doors by Kawneer feature on the new Nelson Health Centre.

Architectural aluminium systems by leading UK manufacturer Kawneer were specified for their cost-effectiveness on an award-winning replacement healthcare facility.

Kawneer's AA®100 zone-drained curtain walling, swing doors with automatic door sets, series 190 heavy-duty entrance doors, and multi-coloured and multi-laminated glass fins were specified by architects Murphy Philipps for the £11 million Nelson Health Centre in Merton, Wimbledon, South London.

A replacement for the Nelson Hospital, the new three-storey BREEAM “Excellent” building comprises two GP clinics, general clinic areas including diagnostics, a pharmacy, café and associated office accommodation. Its design received input from clinicians, Borough of Merton planners and local residents.

It was built by Rydon Construction for NHS Sutton and Merton as part of the BHCH (Better Healthcare Closer to Home) programme which aims to radically reshape and modernise health services through a network of local care centres.

The new Nelson provides a broad range of services including core primary care services outpatient appointments, endoscopy and minor procedures, diagnostic tests, therapy, community and mental health services, health information and expert support to manage long-term conditions.

It sits within a Conservation Area and incorporates the existing pavilion entrance blocks of the original hospital on the site. A pedestrian plaza and public space have been created in front of the main entrance by incorporating an existing traffic island and re-routing adjoining roads.

Delivered across two phases, the project involved the demolition of the existing hospital, ranging in age from Edwardian when the hospital opened in 1911, through to the 1990s, with the retention of three areas of Pavilion Block façade and a remodelling of a section of public highway known as The Rush.

Winner of Best Primary Care Development at the Building Better Healthcare awards, the judging panel said: “This development shows very clever use of the old buildings in the area. It fits in remarkably well with its surroundings.”

Constructed of concrete frame, light gauge steel infill and brick cavity walls, the fenestration systems by Kawneer, part of the Arconic group, was installed by specialist sub-contractor APiC UK. The glass fins were structurally designed to hang from the curtain walling and protrude some 700mm.

Astrid Pernstich of Murphy Philipps, who have used Kawneer many times before, said: “We specified the Kawneer systems for their cost-effectiveness. Their part in the project was critical as the design concept consisted of creating a contrast between solid and transparent elements along the building façade that highlighted the original and new elements of the building.

“The frame configuration reflected the proportions within both the new and existing façade elements. Also, it introduced views and transparency to improve the internal environment for patients and staff.”


Photo: Anthony Coleman

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