Ortus, Home of Maudsley LearningEdit profile
Duggan Morris Architects’ new learning centre project is now complete. The new build 1,550sqm scheme on the South Maudsley campus provides learning and event facilities, café and exhibition spaces for client, Maudsley Charity.
The central focus of this unique project is to create a totally immersive learning environment to support improved mental healthcare, well-being, research, training and development.
The building has been conceived as a free standing pavilion, regular in both plan and volume, with elevations composed to compliment the surrounding Georgian contextual influences. A vertical grid of precast concrete fins articulates the contrasting materials of brick and glass, whilst floor slabs are expressed in the same material ensuring the stagger of the floor plates is abundantly clear. Terraces at ground, inset balconies above, and a large roof terrace further articulates the simplicity of the building, whilst creating positive connections between internal spaces and the abundant landscape which sits in and around the project.
At ground level, the landscape is envisaged as a series of connected rooms, mirroring the internal configurations thus ensuring that learning activities can spill out in a controlled manner. A cafe at the ground floor is intended as a marker near the building entrance, aiming to help de-stigmatise preconceptions of mental health and well being, by making the building more accessible to the wider community, sharing with the campus a vision which includes doctors, nurses, teachers, service users and carers in promoting an integrated learning environment; ‘Learning for anyone, anywhere, at anytime’.
Spatially, the building is planned as a series of flexible, sub-dividable spaces positioned around a central multifunctional tiered space, navigated by a grand ‘open’ staircase. In cross-section, these floor plates stagger across the section by a half storey, thus the grouping of learning spaces appears to extend from the half landing of the open stair; the aim being to create a stronger visual link between floors enhancing the ethos of an immersive learning environment. The open staircase with its shortened connections across the plan is intended to encourage a domestic scale circulation system and is set away from the lift core to encourage movement and visible activity.
The central space is key to controlling the environmental performance of the building, which is uniquely passive, by introducing abundant natural light from a glazed roof into the heart of the plan, feeding each floor plate. In turn automated glazed vents throughout the building envelope introduce cooling air as required at each level throughout day and night, feeding the central stack of the void.
Description from architects