Oswald Medical Practice,
Dr. Black + Dr. Smalldridge
+ RIBA Award 1994
Conceptually, wherever it was possible, elements of the Victorian shell to this doctor’s surgery have been conserved. There has been no attempt to restore insensitive later additions, and the new extension and interventions are contemporary, heightening the tension between new and old. To some degree this informs the planning structure. Public areas begin with the lofty, calm and reassuring waiting room within the old framework of the building. The sequence continues around the drum of the reception, through a secondary waiting area to consulting rooms in the near rear garden extension. Light, material and texture reinforce this progression.
The elevation of the extension is entirely glazed with etched glass blocks and is symmetrically composed to create a dialogue with the arrangement of the rear access and landscape. Elsewhere, rendered external walls, new metal windows and doors contrast with those retained. A projecting canopy announces the side entrance, whereas the planar composition of the street entrance offers a signal as to the building’s new use and a more appropriate threshold to an essentially public building.
“… Dr Ian Bogle says the British Medical Association is keen to promote architects as team leaders, ‘to ensure that the new building provides handsomely for the day to day requirements of the surgery’ and to ‘remove the element of risk the surgery’ and to ‘remove the element of risk satisfies these needs, at the same time providing confidentiality and an easy circulation pattern. The collage of new elements within the existing building to create a calm atmosphere reveals an understanding of the needs of both patients and doctors.”
Charlie McKeith, ‘Architects Journal’,
23 March 1994