NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde / NHS Lanarkshire
Garry Currie (Head of Radiotherapy Physics, NHSGGC)
“The opening is a significant landmark for the treatment of cancer patients in Scotland. Our ambition was to create a clinically appropriate, caring environment. The design of the building is reflective of these goals provided through the skills, experience and hard work of our lead consultant, architect and interior designer Keppie together with the wider team. We’re immensely proud of this wonderful new building and look forward to the benefits it will bring. We would be pleased to work with Keppie on future opportunities. The design of the new building is reflective of these goals provided through the skills, experience and hard work of our lead consultant, architects and interior designers Keppie Design together with the wider design and construction team. We’re immensely proud of this wonderful new building and look forward to the numerous benefits it will bring. We would be pleased to work with Keppie Design on future opportunities.”
Gary Currie, Head of Radiotherapy Physics, Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre
Scottish Property Awards 2017
Architectural Excellence (Public Building) – Finalist
the only cancer treatment centre of its kind in scotland
The Lanarkshire Beatson is a new dedicated facility for the delivery of radiotherapy services for the West of Scotland, operated as a satellite of the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre. Built on a vacant site at Monklands District General Hospital in Airdrie, the new facility for NHS Lanarkshire and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde was funded by the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorate through Frameworks Scotland.
As the first development of this kind in Scotland, the brief and deliverables included combining the physical and technical infrastructure to enhance services with a building that meets the needs of cancer patients within a caring environment seeking to:
- Improve clinical access to high quality, radiotherapy service that are patient centred, safe and clinically effective.
- Enable speedy access to modernised and integrated services.
- Improve the experience of access and engagement to radiotherapy services for people from deprived areas.
- Improve and maintain retention and recruitment of staff.
- Improve the patient pathway with access to treatment not previously available locally, delivered closer to the patient’s home.
The Facility treats four main cancers types: breast, prostate, lung and colorectal, which covers around three quarters of cancers in Scotland, with the aim to reduce journey times for patients rather than travelling into Glasgow for each day of their treatment. From an architectural perspective, designing a radiotherapy-based cancer treatment centre is an inherently challenging task.
On one hand, you have multi-million pound hi-tech linear accelerators used for the radiotherapy treatment housed in radiationproof bunkers made from thousands of tonnes of insitu concrete, and on the other, in the same building, you have to create a calming and aesthetically pleasant environment that reassures and meets the practical needs of potentially highly anxious patients. Marrying these two apparently conflicting, essential elements in a single building certainly exercised our minds. This task was made even harder thanks to an enclosed site that is framed by existing hospital buildings on two sides, and the key accident and emergency route and a service road on the other two, none of which could be moved.
The design concentrates all patient activity on the ground floor of the new centre, ensuring that accessibility for those patients with additional mobility needs is incorporated. Support and staff accommodation is located on the first floor with good vertical links introduced to give easy access for staff to all treatment areas. A central two-storey atrium space accommodates the entrance, reception and main public/ patient waiting area, and provides access to all patient facilities including the CT/Simulator scanner suite, the on-treatment review clinic and the radiotherapy treatment areas, whilst providing a visual and physical connection to the central garden.
The use of brick as the principal external material was important in creating a building with a human scale of proportion and texture. This aspiration was vitally important in the choice of the exterior and interior materials. Beyond meeting the very specific technical needs of the radiotherapy and CT services, the design solution produced by Keppie was to create an ‘inward-looking’ two-storey building with a carefully designed reception and waiting area overlooking an attractive garden ‘oasis’ at its heart – primarily with the aim of putting patients at ease before they enter the radiotherapy area or other clinical facilities.
In the central area timber panelling softens the walls and also the underside of the main staircase to the first floor. Porcelain floor tiling along with the high ceiling and clear glass balustrades on the staircase add to the feeling of spaciousness. Our objective was to create a space similar to the relaxed lobby of a hotel to make people feel they’re part of something more human and less institutional.
The ethos of the project from the outset was to create an environment unlike a medical facility in order to provide a calming and inviting environment for patients. The final building is light and inviting, offering plenty of space, circulation and waiting areas. Centred around a sheltered garden area, patients can easily navigate along their pathway of care through the building. The two highly specialised radiotherapy treatment rooms have been set out in warm Scottish colours and wall finishes, with art blended into the walls.
The external landscape has been designed to soften and integrate the building with its site through carefully considered grading and the judicious use of tree, shrub and hedge planting around the periphery of the garden. This serves to create a high quality setting within the wider Hospital estate whilst providing the sense of intimacy and human scale for patients, visitors and staff for a facility of this nature.
On two sides of the garden a series of striking, brightly coloured vertical steel sections rise from the ground to form what is effectively a perimeter fence – albeit one you can see through – closing a gap in the perimeter of the c-shaped building.
The bunkers are internally clad with removable laminate panelling, to carry the services and positioning lasers, and many storage cupboards to hold essential medical equipment and supplies. Services run through the ceilings of the mazes, with a few direct connections between the bunkers and the control rooms. This approach ensures that routine maintenance can be accommodated without compromising the radiation protection requirements. Wherever possible, pre-fabrication and off-site manufacturing ¬have been incorporated into the design and construction process to speed delivery and accommodate restricted site access.
The building was awarded a BREEAM Very Good rating at design stage. To lower its carbon footprint, it features photovoltaic cells, LED and low-energy lighting, solar-control glass on the curtain walls and roof lights, a heat recovery system in the extraction system, and where possible, natural ventilation.