Located in Renfrew, United Kingdom, Renfrew Health and Social Work Centre was designed by Holmes. In bringing together multiple service providers under one roof as a ‘one stop shop’, the recently unveiled Renfrew Health and Social Work Centre by architecture firm Holmes has been viewed as a potentially important prototype for the new Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) Hub Initiative that aims to maximise value for money by promoting local collaboration in planning and delivering public services.
The £11m purpose built healthcare facility which combines NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde run services with those provided by Renfrewshire Council, was designed by Holmes following their successful bid in an invited bid with Interserve Building. Responding to the overall brief, the building adopts a light, airy, non-institutional design approach to support and facilitate a range of patient care facilities including GP practices, as well as a dental service, physiotherapy, podiatry, speech and language therapy, community nursing, and Renfrewshire’s Joint Learning Disability service and Renfrew area’s Social Work team.
The new facility, which aims to be a key catalyst in terms of the regeneration of Renfrew and the Clyde Waterfront as a whole, features three rectilinear accommodation blocks connected by a glazed entrance and triple height glazed circulation route. Looking out over the newly created public square, the building’s frontage has been designed to offer an appropriately welcoming and accessible face. Internally, the entrance and circulation space is effectively a continuation of the public square leading into the building, and has been envisaged as a ‘streetscape’, featuring a triple height volume with glazed screens at either end of the building and skylights above to flood the space with natural light.
Individual departments and consultation areas, contained within the three accommodation blocks, are securely self-contained – a design device that not only enables maximum patient privacy, but also allows the main streetscape in the public entrance building to remain independently open and accessible. A uniquely close and extensive collaboration with local community groups, as well as the client and end users, ensured that the completed building nurtured a real sense of ownership within the wider community. Meetings, presentations and discussions were undertaken with the local Community Council, Disability Group, Primary and Secondary Schools and the local Reid Kerr College. In addition, internationally renowned Glasgow based artist Toby Paterson was commissioned to complete a major new site-specific artwork in the entrance of the new building following an invited competition held by the centre’s ‘Artworks Public Involvement Group’.