Located in Bath, United Kingdom, CircleBath was designed by Foster + Partners. Pioneering healthcare design was on display today (Thurs 14 Jan) as Foster + Partner’s first ever hospital design, now complete near Bath in England, was previewed to the press. Commissioned by innovative healthcare providers Circle, the hospital is not only a Foster-first but a vessel for a new generation of collaborative ‘bottom-up’ managed hospitals set to shake up healthcare in the UK.
Expected to open to both private and National Health Service patients in February, CircleBath, unsurprisingly given Foster’s involvement, will be more akin to a hotel or high-end business centre than a hospital. Spread across just three levels the hospital is set into the hills on the edge of a protected green belt near Bath.
The external design is elegantly simplified with lower level dark panelling on the northern facade and extensive glazing to the south allowing views over the surrounding countryside. Patients and visitors are welcomed into the hospital via a large light-filled atrium forming the centre of the building and a solid point of navigation.
Operating theatres, consultation, treatment and recovery spaces, and 28 bedrooms for both in-patient and out-patient accommodation are provided in light-filled surrounds with a warm and luxurious décor. Each area is linked to the internal atrium or the natural surroundings or both via glass panels and windows to the outside world. Even the operating theatres and recovery spaces on the ground floor look out to a private garden to the south. The bedrooms on the upper floor look out onto balconies, planted with herbs and shrubs, lining the building’s perimeter and oriented to maximise views across the countryside. Sympathetic landscaping emphasises the therapeutic natural environment to create the opposite of an institutional atmosphere.
Divisions between departments are minimal, easing the stress involved in consultation, treatment and recovery for patients and reducing walking distances for staff.