Woodside Health & Care Centre reached Practical Completion on 15th May 2019. The end of a pentathlon in a series of DBFM Health projects in which Apollo has had the privilege to work along-side NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde (NHSGGC) and the Authority’s partners; hub West Scotland, as Developer and Morgan Sindall as Principal Contractor.
The DBFM projects have been like mini snapshots of life, fast paced programmes on site with ups and down through to physical Completion. The joy of projects reaching Financial Close and starting on site shortly thereafter is full of unknowns; even with a Tier 1 Contractor, a full Design Team and the layers of on-looking eyes: “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry” (A saying adapted from a line within ‘To a Mouse’ by Robert Burns).
What gives these Projects life is people. The strains of the Project, as detail design progresses during construction, tests people’s tenacity. As parties participate, while going about their daily lives, external forces impact upon their involvement in projects – illness, change of employer, maternity leave, paternity leave, construction issues, vandalism, fire! When all seems to be reasonably proceeding according to plan, surprises arise with time. As Heraclitus once said “there is nothing permanent except change”; and this applies to both people and the circumstances of a Project. An impossible risk to prepare for, particularly where there is a fixed date for commencement of DBFM Funder payments, regardless of the actual Completion Date or cause of a delay.
On 28th July 2018 a surprise beyond all other surprises struck when someone broke into the Woodside site and set a fire. The quick actions of site security resulted in a fast response from the local Fire Brigade and rescue/apprehension of the intruder. Despite fire compartmentation; what seemed a modest, contained fire, led to a serious impact upon the construction programme. As devastating as the blow was, a plan was put in place for a Reinstatement Programme.
At c. £19m, the building at 6,730m2 is set within an urban environment, sitting hard to the pavement edge. encompassing a six GP practices, dentistry, pharmacy, community services, agile working office space and a dedicated Glasgow City Council adult Day Care Centre, for those with dementia. The feature corners of concrete panels are softer in appearance than the material suggests. The subtle relief of around 10mm adds depth, softness and interest to the three entrance areas; acting as book ends to the distressed red brick, reminiscent of a bye gone era.
Internally, both the Adult Day Care Centre (ADC) and the Health Centre conceal the lightness that awaits from the outside. Both at different scales, reflecting their nature. The ADC provides a spacious entrance/reception well-lit from Hinshaw Street; leading into a clerestory lit corridor, servicing support spaces and primary public spaces – activity rooms, dining room, hair dressers, quiet room. Another surprise awaits beyond the large activity and dining spaces – a delightful courtyard garden, formed as the hypotenuse to legs of the Health Centre.
Beyond the unassuming entrance of the Health Centre, lies a light filled atrium, providing visual connection between public spaces and the waiting/reception areas adorned around the perimeter of the atrium. The simplicity of white paint and lacquered timber panels provides a crisp setting for an almost civic, yet welcoming environment. One of the simple but effective features is the leaf pattern etched into vertical timber rails, to delineate waiting areas off the First Floor balcony circulation. Hopefully the setting places it’s staff, patients and visitors at ease, regardless of the purpose of their visit.
The resultant building is a credit to all involved in its creation, while various personnel changed and challenges arose during its construction. The Glasgow City Council Group Manager was provided with the opportunity to select a quotation for opening the Handover Meeting and aptly selected “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall” (Quotation by Confucius). During close of the meeting, the Senior General Manager for NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde stated that “the Building will provide a massive improvement for the public”. Here’s hoping that the latest NHSGGC Health & Care Centre is equally well received by the public when it opens its doors in July 2019.
Apollo is one of the two founding private sector partners in hub West Scotland, bringing their health and community infrastructure experience to bear on the partnership. Johnny Dryburgh, Apollo’s Chief Executive, sits on the main board of hub West Scotland, and a series of specific health related Project Companies. Apollo deliver project development and project management services on health projects, as well as investing in revenue funded health schemes.