Newsletter - Links - Advertise - Contact Us - Privacy
 

Barrhead Health Centre opens

Bookmark and Share | Send to friend

July 22 2011

Barrhead Health Centre opens
Avanti Architects have completed a new health and care centre in Barrhead for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board.

The £18m development houses a range of GP and primary care services in a bid to reduce pressure on acute hospitals.

Clinical accommodation is arranged on ground and first floors within self-contained departments around a triple height top lit atrium.

This atrium serves as a central reception point for patients, incorporating both waiting areas and an information point with views out to adjacent parkland and hills.

Second floor spaces provide office space for social services staff.
A central atrium serves as the figurative heart of the complex
A central atrium serves as the figurative heart of the complex
The 'one-stop-shop' for health provision is intended to provide a civic presence on Barrhead's Main Street
The 'one-stop-shop' for health provision is intended to provide a civic presence on Barrhead's Main Street

22 Comments

RK8
#1 Posted by RK8 on 24 Jul 2011 at 20:21 PM
I passed this the other day,
The build quality is super sharp
Makes the Riach and Hall development beside it look very shabby indeed
FW
#2 Posted by FW on 25 Jul 2011 at 06:16 AM
yes indeed, the pressed metal edge and corner trim is particlarly impressive.
"El"
#3 Posted by "El" on 25 Jul 2011 at 17:01 PM
I passed the Riach & Hall building recenetly too (I'm taking RK8's word for it that it is theres).
Does anyone know how old it is?
It doesn't seem to have aged well.
"El"
#4 Posted by "El" on 25 Jul 2011 at 17:03 PM
Just checked their website.
It was built in 2002.
Ouch.
bob
#5 Posted by bob on 25 Jul 2011 at 21:10 PM
Having visited the site the other week this is a quality project
Cant think of any other health centre that is any better (perhaps no claim to fame)
The Riach and Hall building hasn’t aged well at all
FW
#6 Posted by FW on 26 Jul 2011 at 06:32 AM
Barrhead's very popular, clearly, lots of architecture junkies passing through...and it's Reiach and Hall.

Were it not for the sign this could be a spec comercial office in any science park or other out of town development. Don't talk it up chaps.
FW
#7 Posted by FW on 26 Jul 2011 at 06:56 AM
This project shows the real flaws of the current public procurement system. There are a number of very good architects around who could have designed and delivered a much more interesting project, including Reiach and Hall.

Instead, the estate managers at NHS have clearly chose to avoid risk by going with Avanti who have an impressive track record in the delivery of souless health centres, no doubt completed on budget.

The statement that it is as good as any other health centre is no recommendation, in fact it is absolutely depressing.
4theClient
#8 Posted by 4theClient on 26 Jul 2011 at 07:48 AM
Bob/FW saying Barrhead doesn't have much to live upto is rather disingenuous to the client and their previous teams ... the three below are by the same client body as Barrhead in just the past couple of years...
- The West Centre (Anderson Bell Christie) 2010 http://www.ads.org.uk/healthierplaces/project/drumchapel-family-and-child-centre/2
- Renfrew Health Centre (Holmes Partnership) 2010 http://www.ads.org.uk/healthierplaces/project/renfrew-health-social-work-centre/2
-  Stobill Hospital (Reiach and Hall) 2009 http://www.ads.org.uk/healthierplaces/project/new-stobhill-hospital/4
And there where a few good ones before that too, commissioned from architects who, at that point, didn't have a huge track record in health such as Davis Duncan and Gareth Hoskins...
FW
#9 Posted by FW on 26 Jul 2011 at 08:39 AM
Not disingenuous at all,please read my post. The projects you have quoted have their merits but were commissioned, I would guess at least five or ten years ago. The current system is all about eliminating risk and cost control, done by commissioning architects with experience of similar projects, no matter the architectural quality.

Why on earth would would Avanti be commissioned otherwise.
4theClient
#10 Posted by 4theClient on 26 Jul 2011 at 09:07 AM
FW, Barrhead is a traditional procurement, the appointment of Avanti to the project was about the same time (or maybe a bit earlier) than Holmes appointment on Renfrew through a D&B system - both about 3-4 years ago. Stobhill appointment was a bit earlier, and through PFI - not known for making appointments on architectural quality easy.

Current systems, such as hub, are potentially freer in how they bring teams on board... But it's not so much about the system as the client's drive and skill in picking their way through it. Architects who seam to suggest that budget control (at a time of a shrinking public purse) is at odds with design quality don't do themselves or the profession any favours - just drive clients away with the fear that 'design' and 'designers' are both unreliable and unaffordable - straight into the arms of the predictable...
FW
#11 Posted by FW on 26 Jul 2011 at 11:12 AM
so your arguement that the client took a risk on these earlier appointments hold even less water. If Avanti were appointed by traditional procurement then the NHS could not have chosen a safer option, one which would not advance thinking on the design of health facilities one millimetre. As a shopping list of similar sterile health projects on their website will testify.

D+B and particularly PFI are cost driven, so it seems then by accident, not client wish that Reiach and Hall delivered an outstanding hospital. R+H just happened to be part of a succesful PFI Team, that if the economics did not stack up would not have been appointed architects.

As far as the HUB is concerned, don't make me laugh.
4theClient
#12 Posted by 4theClient on 26 Jul 2011 at 12:13 PM
"so it seems then by accident, not client wish that Reiach and Hall delivered an outstanding hospital."... ...Like to see you say that to the client for this project, a formidable soul that was shortlisted for RIBA client of the year for working always to keep the focus on what design can do for patient dignity...
...and BTW, the D&B for Renfrew was chosen on the what the client felt to be the best scheme, not the cheapest contractor - if they'd not been interested in the quality they'd have just built the proposal they inherited from the council and not bothered directing bidders to come up with something better.
Just 'cos you don't like the system, doesn't mean others don't know how to work it!
Some of the people involved in commissioning the projects you admire are now operating on the client side of local hub co's and taking that knowledge and expectation with them....so good luck sitting there taking ill informed potshots at them whilst expecting they should come to you with an open purse in recognition of your obvious genius... gutsy marketing technique!
Carlo M
#13 Posted by Carlo M on 26 Jul 2011 at 12:49 PM
I agree with FW, the result speaks for itself.

This looks like a dull spec office development no matter the client supposed aspirations.
Bob
#14 Posted by Bob on 26 Jul 2011 at 16:39 PM
Im not saying that the West Centre or Renfrew Health Centre or Easterhouse Health Centre or indeed Stobhill hospital are not good projects (all of which i have visited) im just saying i felt the Barrhead project was better from a quality point of view.

I agree wholeheartedly with 4theClient about Architects being critical about projects and taking ill informed potshots from behind the sofa whilst they sit there with no evidence to support that they have done any better (or could do any better)

If you feel this is aimed at you then please step forward and let us know what you have done in the way of health centres that is any better ?

Its very easy to be critical when you don’t have to justify yourself
Bob
#15 Posted by Bob on 26 Jul 2011 at 16:41 PM
Im not saying that the West Centre or Renfrew Health Centre or Easterhouse Health Centre or indeed Stobhill hospital are not good projects (all of which i have visited) im just saying i felt the Barrhead project was better from a quality point of view.

I agree wholeheartedly with 4theClient about Architects being critical about projects and taking ill informed potshots from behind the sofa whilst they sit there with no evidence to support that they have done any better (or could do any better)

If you feel this is aimed at you then please step forward and let us know what you have done in the way of health centres that is any better ?

Its very easy to be critical when you don’t have to justify yourself
wang
#16 Posted by wang on 26 Jul 2011 at 17:03 PM
i think we should all agree that just because whoever is being critical of a scheme hasn't designed an alternative scheme - their criticism can still be valid.
It always gives me a chuckle that this is used all the time on here to disregard someones opinion
Bob
#17 Posted by Bob on 26 Jul 2011 at 18:03 PM
I couldnt agree with you more, it always gives me a chuckle when people try to pass off comments like " dull office spec development" as constructive and valid

Also the use of the word "supposed" always helps the cause
Bob
#18 Posted by Bob on 26 Jul 2011 at 18:03 PM
I couldnt agree with you more, it always gives me a chuckle when people try to pass off comments like " dull office spec development" as constructive and valid

Also the use of the word "supposed" always helps the cause
4theClient
#19 Posted by 4theClient on 26 Jul 2011 at 18:21 PM
Wang, agree we can all have an opinion about what the architect's designed and the build quality produced by the contractor - this should after all be our area of expertise as built environment professionals... So on that basis we can all think what we will about Barrhead. That said, suggesting that Barrhead has nothing much to live upto, I think, we've agreed as a bit unfair.

My main beef on 'ill-informed' criticism is not about commenting on others design or construction skills, but presuming to pronounce what's in the mind of the client through the procurement process of a series of prowithout number of which have had reasonably successful results) without any knowledge of what they did (or even what process was used and when - all public information) then complaining that they chose something that 'stacked up economically'.... should we prefer unbuilt public buildings, legal fees for court appearances and Audit Scotland investigations...?
FW
#20 Posted by FW on 27 Jul 2011 at 08:32 AM
First thing, I'm not an architect but have worked with many fine architects and have been involved in both sides of the procurement and commissioning process.

Second, if you think that the elimination of risk and lowest cost is not now a fundemental part of how, particularly public, projects are commissioned then you are seriously deluded.

Third, no matter the design ambition of the Stobhill client if the financial package did not stack up, then Reiach and Hall would not have got the project. It was not judged on architectural quality but bottom line economics.

Last but not least, an appreciation of good design and architectural awareness is very rare among commissioning panels.
Bob
#21 Posted by Bob on 27 Jul 2011 at 09:48 AM
"Last but not least, an appreciation of good design and architectural awareness is very rare among commissioning panels."

....Or perhaps put more simplistically for the uneducated (myself included)

.....Commissioning Panels have many others things to consider other than “pretty design” and winning awards ?
4the Client
#22 Posted by 4the Client on 27 Jul 2011 at 13:38 PM
Again this argument that it's one or the other - surely it's not beyond the wit of the profession to do both - to have something that's well designed and stacks up financially? The awards giving bodies don't help in this as things like the Stirling prize always go to the lavish budget scheme not the one that's used a more modest budget spectacularly well - a case in point would be when Kentish Town Health centre was shortlisted - a brilliant use of light and section to breath life into an economic plan and articulation to an urban block - but it lost out to the expensively detailed maggies...
We have to stop suggesting that 'real' architecture can only operate outwith the world of the economically viable or we leave most building types to the box drawers...

Post your comments

 

All comments are pre-moderated and
must obey our house rules.

 

Back to July 2011

Search News
Subscribe to Urban Realm Magazine
Features & Reports
For more information from the industry visit our Features & Reports section.