Whittington Health Trust (London) recognized that demand for acute services was rising among the 500,000 people in its service area. Based on this need, and the focus by the NHS on integrated care, Whittington decided to use the opportunity to build a new ambulatory care center adjacent to its existing hospital that would expand its same-day treatment capabilities, improve the patient and staff experience, and bring departmental disciplines closer together. Finished in July 2014, the facility opened in December.

The hospital commissioned architecture and design practice Studio TILT to employ a codesign approach for the facility, which houses a range of departments and treatment options for children and adults. As part of this process, workshops with people across the hospital trust, including managers, clinicians, administrators, infection control staff, and patients, were held to gather clinical insights and experiences. These ideas were then tested within full-scale mock-ups.

Among the project goals was an innovative layout designed around the patients’ needs, staff requirements, and smooth departmental flow. The design also needed to accommodate the latest equipment and provide a calm environment.

One of the biggest challenges on the project was the complex site, which combined buildings from the 19th century, the 1980s, and more recent additions.

Studio TILT mapped these elements first to establish how the new ambulatory center would be incorporated into the flows of the adjoining areas of The Whittington Hospital. The final design includes treatment rooms, scanners, ultrasound, and phlebotomy alongside support and outreach resources for teleconferencing, seminars, and integrated community services spaces.

The project team also focused on addressing issues such as water and energy efficiency, improving the building’s insulation, and providing a sustainable lighting system. The layout allows natural light to penetrate the depth of the space, helping to create a non-institutional setting while also reducing for the need for extra artificial light sources.