The proposed Health and Wellbeing Hub will sit within the Health, Education and Innovation Quarter (HEIQ) area of the master-plan for Ebbsfleet Central, which itself is part of the overall master-plan for Ebbsfleet Garden City. The HEIQ is formed of a series of mixed use buildings on a triangular site sloping southwards, away from Ebbsfleet International station and towards the river Ebbsfleet and the blue lake beyond.
The vision is to deliver a Health and Wellbeing Hub that improves the quality of life for the residents of Ebbsfleet, North Kent and the wider catchment and help promote preventative healthcare and creatively link this with arts, environment, community, sports and leisure services. The Health and Wellbeing Hub will have an important civic function both in terms of its prominence and distinctiveness in the urban design context and physical access to support services and facilities. It is proposed to be built in 2025, opening in 2026.
Pictures Sarah Wigglesworth Architects
Extensive consultation was carried out in late 2017 and early 2018, the product of which was a conceptual vision and a proposed approach to the design of the health and well-being hub. We are now beginning work to validate this vision within the current health context and aspirations and needs of the local and future population.
The key ambition of the project is to change the way that people think about treatment, illness, recovery and their own behaviours. The facility will accommodate a range of spaces for active engagement with third sector clubs and societies, local community initiatives and support services. It will also contain spaces for single or group consultations with a care team, informal areas for small meetings and feedback and larger scale areas for communal activities such as talks, film nights or cookery demonstrations. The building will also be used as a way to demonstrate healthy living and facilitate an active lifestyle.
The feedback from initial consultation events has made it clear that the ambition is for a building rooted in the landscape with easy visual and physical links between inside and out. This emphasis on connections with nature has a strong importance and it the clear desire of the stakeholder and community groups that the building should have a natural, welcoming feel to it rather than being overtly clinical. Using the findings of the Marmot Review we are working on a model of a mixed use of 30% clinical and 70% wellbeing space.