North Wing Royal United Hospital, Lower Weston
The site of the proposed development is the northern portion of the Royal United Hospital, currently the Bath Dialysis Unit. Whilst the overall site is not located within the Bath conservation area, it does form a peripheral element of the World Heritage site.
BPT appreciates the need for the update of public health services. The current, early 20th century buildings on the site are of a neutral architectural value, and are likely ill-suited to their current usage with regards to their single-storey massing.
We are supportive of the inclusion of landscaping around the building that will provide a suitably large and open setting for a building of a larger scale and massing. Considering the high-density nature of the hospital complex, the addition of green amenity space for staff and patients will help to visually break up the site.
Whilst we do not object to the design, we would point out that the copious use of white render will be difficult to clean and maintain, and will likely quickly discolour. We would therefore recommend the selection of a more neutral render colour that will age more suitably.
We additionally have some concerns regarding the high visibility of the new structure from Penn Hill, and its incongruity with the existing roofscape. We would recommend that further mitigatory measures are incorporated into this scheme, either slightly lowering the roofline or utilising a similar material and colour palette that will best reflect its setting.