Sparkhill Primary Care Centre

With health services in Sparkhill dispersed across the area and many housed in outdated accommodation, an existing primary care building was identified as the ideal location for a new, integrated facility. However with the site spanning less than half an acre and located between two retail buildings on the busy high street, it would be a challenge to create space for all the services required without limiting parking provision or the opportunity for future growth.

As well as bringing together a range of improved healthcare facilities in one accessible location - from GP services and dental facilities to specialist services such as counselling and substance abuse advice - Sparkhill Primary Care Centre has been designed to encourage better community engagement. The design and development process involved extensive consultation with stakeholders, including patients, staff, clinicians and local residents. This drove the creation of an outdoor courtyard to provide a safe, green environment in the heart of this busy urban area. With the local population including a number of multi-lingual groups, the implementation of a colour-coded navigational system ensures ease of wayfinding, while a number of community artwork pieces create a welcoming and non-clinical environment.

Maximising a tight site

Located on an extremely tight site and in a densely populated urban area, BaS LIFT worked with its specialist design team, One Creative Environments Ltd, to help deliver an innovative building solution. The centre was designed to sit flush against neighbouring buildings, as well as curving outwards onto the high street to maximise the space available. With parking an important element of the scheme, an undercroft car park was designed to ensure parking provision didn’t impact on the limited space available above ground.

Providing flexibility for the future, the design is free of internal load-bearing walls, allowing space to be reconfigured to meet changing service requirements and local need. The project is a shining example of how more sustainable healthcare facilities can still be delivered in densely urban areas where space for new developments is limited.