Akerman
London
2006–2012

Akerman is as much about the street and the city as it is about a building.

‘Those who fear for the future of the NHS will be proud that the Akerman gave its architects a chance to prove that one of the great institutions of the post-Victorian age could create a civic monument at least as imposing as any of its predecessors’ Timothy Brittain-Catlin, 2013

Image 1

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    The gable is shaped to form the sign of a medical cross
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    The east entrance is marked by the letters AKERMAN and a glazed lobby. This and a second entrance on the west side create a public route through the foyer. G.E. Street's St John the Divine can be seen in the background
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    Casement windows are variously flush and deeply recessed. On the south façade they are recessed and bear on heavy masonry cills. Shadows highlight the weight of brickwork
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    Isometric drawings of the centre - a hybrid of the London terrace and a cathedral
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    The public route bisects a ground floor clinical cluster and meeting suite, the middle floors are laid out like a wide-bodied jet with a spine of ancillary spaces flanked by east and west-facing rooms, and, top floor of offices
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    The ground floor Corten steel frieze forms a cradle for the cream-coloured brickwork above
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    Shadows cast in the many wrinkles of the bricks' surface offer a counterpoint to the relatively simple and monumental form of the building as a whole
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    The storey-high ground floor Corten podium incorporates a frieze of 24 'paintings' cut from the steel to designs by the artist Daniel Sturgis
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    The variously shaped and sized perforations add up to achieve the necessary free open area to naturally ventilate an underground car park
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    When open, the foyer is an extension of the public realm; the new route through the building links two adjoining neighbourhoods
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    A cruciform skylight above the stair and foyer illuminates a painted frieze by artist Paul Morrison. One of the waiting areas which overlooks a local park is visible through the glazed screens
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    ‘Throughout, there is acute attention to detail, down to finishes and colour choices, which remove any sense of a clinical environment.’ Oliver Wainwright, 2013

Technical

  • Appointment: 2016
  • Construction start: 2010
  • Completion: 2012
  • Area: 5,186m2
  • Budget: £12.4m
  • Sustainable credentials: CO2 emissions / m² treated floor area: 12.9kgCO2/ m² BREEAM Healthcare Excellent
  • Form of contract: Design & Build
  • Client: South London Health Partnership LIFT Co / Developer: Fulcrum / Public Sector: Lambeth PCT
  • Willmott Dixon: Contractor:
  • Arup: Mechanical Engineers
  • Cundall: Services Engineer:
  • Price & Myers: Structural Engineer:
  • Quantity Surveyor: Davis Langdon
  • Landscape Architect: Landscape Projects
  • Artist: Paul Morrison (Central Hall and Main Stair)
  • Artist: Daniel Sturgis (External Corten Frieze at Street L
  • Project Management: Davis Langdon
  • Transport Consultant: Alan Baxter Associates
  • Planning Consultant: Urban Practitioners

Bibliography

  • ‘We had some front…’, in: Building Design (London, March 2014), p.1
  • Hinge (Hong Kong, January 2014), pp.76–81
  • Stephen Bailey, ‘Natural light is a beacon for the human spirit, The Daily Telegraph’, in: Natural light is a beacon for the human spirit, The Daily Telegraph (London, 20 February 2013), p.24
  • Building Better Healthcare Magazine (November 2013), p.1
  • Time Out (13 August 2013), p.29
  • New London 2013/2014 (July 2013), p.27
  • ‘RIBA Awards 2013’, in: Architects’ Journal201 (13 July 2013), p.67
  • ‘First Person’, in: Brick Bulletin (August 2013), pp.4–5
  • Jay Merrick, ‘A Statement of Intent’, in: Architects’ Journal (7 March 2013), pp.44–51
  • ‘Civic Pride’, in: World Health Design (January 2013), p.54
  • Architecture Today, issue 234 (January 2013), pp.36–45
  • Healthy Outlook, Building Design (2012), p.1
  • ‘Buschow Henley in Lambeth’, in: Brick Bulletin (October 2009), p.4
  • Hattie Hartman, ‘Sustainability in Practice’, in: Architects' Journal (25 June 2009), pp.41–44
  • ‘Architect of the Year Awards – UK design continues to inspire’, in: Building Design (17 October 2008), pp.10–11

Awards

  • Civic Trust Award, 2014
  • Building Better Healthcare Awards, 2013
  • RIBA National Award, 2013
  • Midlist, RIBA Stirling Prize, 2013
  • Shortlisted, New London Awards, 2013
  • Commendation, Design & Health International Academy Awards, 2013
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