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18/01/2011
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Kentish Town Health Centre

Kentish Town, London

Description

Kentish Town Health Centre is located in central London on a tight urban site surrounded by housing. It replaced a former health centre that had fallen into a state of disrepair.

The Centre has a clear entrance from the street that is marked by large glass doors and a colourful mural.

The internal layout of the building has been designed around the concept of a street – a generous public/private space that welcomes users and leads them to the reception at the heart of the building.

All services are accessed from this reception. The centre brings an unprecedented range of services to a relatively deprived community, including:

  • dental services
  • children’s services
  • breast screening
  • diagnostic imaging
  • psychological support services
  • welfare
  • employment and finance advice
  • supporting office space
  • staff facilities
  • library
  • meeting rooms.

The overall shape of the building is inspired by the game of ‘Jenga’™ blocks, with bold rectangular interlocking parts. The exterior walls are rendered in white, which helps to unify different parts of the building. Corner windows are coloured with bright green grilles, providing further interest. Rooms on the upper levels are larger than rooms on the ground floor and as a result project out of the building. This provides the space needed within the constraints of a small site.

The double and triple-height space running through the building is livened up by bridges between the wings, long views, colourful graphics and a bold wayfinding system that is easy to use.

A series of small private gardens and terraces are carved into the building. A more formal, public garden connects to the main waiting room at ground floor level, where a café is located.