Wear Referrals Veterinary Hospital, Sedgefield

The Wear Referrals veterinary referral and emergency hospital at Bradbury outside Sedgefield opened in 2015 – a Centre of Excellence equipped with the very latest state-of-the-art facilities for specialist animal care. With MRI and CT scanners, four operating theatres, a chemotherapy and rehabilitation ward, dedicated intensive care unit and staff training facilities, the hospital is purposefully situated close to the A1’s J60 motorway junction to allow rapid and easy access for all referred clients and emergencies from long and short range.

The high tech building sits discretely in the surrounding rural environment featuring a sedum roof to one wing, biomass heating and photovoltaic panels for green energy and an integrated landscaping scheme to minimise the building’s impact on the surrounding landscape.

The building is designed to sit sensitively within the existing landscape but at the same time be a subtle but strong architectural statement when seen either at speed from the road and rail line or at close range. The internal layout is purposefully configured around the flow of veterinary work with the reception area, for example, in the south-facing wing providing comforting, bright and airy front-of house facilities for anxious pet owners whilst the northern wing provides the highly serviced operating theatres, x-ray and chemotherapy facilities. The central two storey section contains core clinical support functions with offices and staff welfare accommodation on the first floor, taking advantage of the fine outlook over the surrounding landscape

Externally, the low profile curved roofs, some sedum covered reflect the gently undulating landscape whilst the fragmented building mass reduces the visual scale. This, together with integrated landscaping and the use facing materials which are in harmony with the setting, allows the new 1,600 sq m structure to have a very low profile from afar, although highly impressive at close quarters.