There are times when architecture can leave much to be desired. This was the case for Guy’s and St Thomas Hospital in London. The hospital’s boiler house, a building adjacent to the entrance, was an eyesore. That changed when Heathewick Studio was brought on board to reimagine a master plan for all of the entrances. They designed a façade for the boiler house that acts as a signpost for the hospital main entrance and a focal point for the site.
The façade is created using woven stainless steel mesh. A total of 108 undulating tiles make their way around the Boiler Suit. The system is flexible and versatile, allowing for demounting for maintenance purposes. At night, the façade is illuminated, providing a distinguished beacon for staff and visitors arriving at night.
The form of the façade is reminiscent of the soft nature that tension fabric conveys. While steel was a sensible choice for this design, the same concept can be interpreted to a host of environments utilizing fabric and frame, whether large or small scale, and in a host of finishes and colors. Think of it this way…. What if the interior of this hospital were to include ceiling or wall elements that were a consistent with the curvature of the façade?