Architects in Jersey have formally objected to plans to build a new hospital at Overdale, saying the delivery process has led to a poor design with no regard for "Jersey’s unique sense of pride.”
The Association of Jersey Architects has officially commented on the planning application to build a £804m ‘health campus’ on Westmount.
That application will be reviewed by an independent planning inspector in March before the Environment Minister approves or rejects it.
Although conceding that their concern is “likely to be ignored”, AJA says it considers that Overdale alone is “the wrong choice of site”.
It writes: “While this project is an island imperative, we are concerned that that client and delivery process have adversely affected the project’s design quality and contribution to Jersey’s unique sense of pride.”
Specifically, the AJA say that the current proposals “do not respond collectively to the context and distinctiveness of the site”.
Pictured: The Association of Jersey Architects criticise the design of main building on Westmount.
It adds: “The south elevation as viewed from Elizabeth Castle is currently a 200m bland flat elevation with no attempt to create an intriguing façade or create an overlay that mitigates the impact of the over-scaled façade.
“There appears to be no clear, compelling concept design or architectural narrative. The design has changed hugely throughout the process.
“Is there a conceptual diagram that explains how the architecture, topography and landscape are integrated? As currently, this appears to be lacking.”
The AJA say it is difficult for the main building's "immense scale" to be demonstrated to the public so it suggests some kind of profile is erected so people can get an idea.
Other criticisms of the AJA include its belief that the two towers to the east of the main building "add to the proposal's jarring with the skyline in longer views” and should be removed.
It asks: “As the second bookend to St. Helier, how does the Our Hospital project relate and respond to Fort Regent?”
The original design for the hospital's main entrance was said to have been inspired by the shoreline, with the underside of the roof “mimicking” the ebb and flow of the tide. The original curved roof design was also intended to be a nod to Fort Regent.
However, that design was scrapped when the project team decided to reduce the size of the building by around 4,000sqm. They said this was in line with public feedback and would ensure that the project comes in on-time, and on budget.
Pictured: The original design featured a curved roof as a nod to Jersey's tidal range and Fort Regent.
Addressing climate change, the AJA also asked how the buildings and parking provision align with the Government’s Carbon Neutral Roadmap.
The Association signs off by asking the Minister to reject the application.
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