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Badenoch and Strathspey Community Hospital

Badenoch and Strathspey Community Hospital

Aviemore’s Badenoch and Strathspey Community Hospital (‘the Hospital’) for NHS Highland is part of a transformative approach aiming to provide care in, or as close to home as possible, shifting the balance from acute hospital services to community healthcare services. The Hospital merges services in Granton-on-Spey and Kingussie, to improve patient experience and treatment outcomes by enabling staff to provide the quality of care expected in a modern healthcare environment, while releasing resources to improve community care via Integrated Community Teams.

The Hospital’s entire second floor is now dedicated to these integrated teams with landscape staff room views to create a calm space for collaboration and enabling flexibility of use to accommodate changing patient and healthcare needs. The Hospital site presented budget challenges given the relocation costs of materials and staff to it’s semi-remote location. Sourcing resources and materials locally and sustainably wherever possible helped mitigate challenges.

The location of the site influenced the reflection of the building’s natural surroundings in the Hospital design, positively impacting the patient, visitor and staff experience whilst prioritising sustainable build and material choices, resulting in BREEAM Excellence status. The uniquely tapered site is bounded by railway lines. Characteristics of east versus west inspired what and how materials were used and the form and scale of construction, including an east side timber clad single story versus a two-storey metal clad west side.

Cladding is practical, modular and sustainably sourced, designed to strict panel sizes to minimise construction waste through onsite cutting. A fundamental design principle to retain existing trees by designing around them anchors the building into the landscape. This influences all through journeys by exposing the therapeutic experience of nature through view framing glazing, including full height opening windows in patient rooms.

Around the building, a public path is retained to give in-patients views of everyday life. Local artists were commissioned to develop artwork to stitch the building to it’s location, including an abstract image of the national park by Angus Grant. Such artwork creates a wayfinding strategy to key locations in the building and provides a reminder of the calming natural surroundings. As a hub for winter sports, many Aviemore hospital visits result from sporting accidents.

Design considerations included in-patient bedrooms with drop-down beds to accommodate accompanying friends. All main doors have over door canopies to protect those passing, whilst the omission of external sloping roof planes removes the risk of snow dumps. 

PROJECT: Badenoch and Strathspey Community Hospital
LOCATION: Cairnview Road, Aviemore
CLIENT: NHS Highland
ARCHITECT: Oberlanders
Badenoch and Strathspey Community Hospital
Badenoch and Strathspey Community Hospital
Badenoch and Strathspey Community Hospital

Photographer:  Niall Hastie

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