This section is from the book "Modern Buildings, Their Planning, Construction And Equipment Vol3", by G. A. T. Middleton. Also available from Amazon: Modern Buildings.
It may be noticed in passing that lines have been drawn across all the openings showing the position of the walls and arches above them. This is often done in order to save time in an office, but it is hardly to be commended upon working drawings, as such lines might possibly be confounded with those usually employed to denote steps, for which they must not here be mistaken.
The main entrance, which is in the centre of the block, leads into a central corridor, and this passes straight through to the kitchen department in the extreme rear, cut off from the main administrative department by proper disconnection doors. The kitchens are in this case not much larger than those of a good sized country house and no more complicated, there being only one larder and one pantry, this latter being kept on the hospital side of the kitchen, so that no possibly infected plates or dishes are passed into the kitchen until they have been washed.
The whole of the central portion of the building is carried up two storeys in height, the upper floor being devoted to a series of bedrooms for the use of nurses and servants, who are unusually well provided for. As will be seen from the photographs illustrated in Plate IV., a great deal of care has been taken to make this a pleasant and homely building. When the necessary expense can be afforded there is undoubtedly a good deal of advantage to be gained by placing sick persons amidst pleasant surroundings. It has even been found possible to make the interior pleasing as well as the exterior, though all the ordinary hospital requirements are observed. The ordinary projecting architrave to doors and windows, for instance, not being permissible, they have been replaced by coloured bands worked in tiles. Colour has been used in this way to a considerable extent, yet entirely without fussiness, broad surfaces of pleasant tone relieved by carefully placed lines being all that is depended upon for effect.
A Convalescent Home, such as that erected at High Beech, and shown in Figs. 30 and 31, of which Mr. T. W. Cutler, F.R.I.B.A., is the architect, is in all essentials a small hospital, except that there is no-necessity for a specially arranged administrative department, nor for surgeon's and operating-rooms. It is, however, necessary to provide a large dining-hall, as convalescents, unlike hospital patients, do not remain always in their wards, and while perfect disconnection is not essential, yet fresh air and sunlight are very much needed. Instead of extending in one long line, the wards are here placed at right angles to one another, forming an L-shaped plan. On the ground floor, the dining-hall occupies the space usually allocated to a ward, and immediately behind it is the kitchen, from which it is directly served. The entrance-hall is placed at the re-entering angle, the dining-hall opening directly out of it on the right, while a staircase rises from it also, and beneath the staircase a series of lavatories are reached, with a semi-disconnected block on the left containing a ward for ten crippled children, with a nurse's overlooking-room. There is also a nurse's sitting-room on this floor.
The servants' quarters are entirely distinct from those of the nurses, communication only being possible through the kitchen and dining-hall, except on the first floor, to which the servants have separate access. There are thus two staircases, providing a secondary means of escape in case of fire. The upper floor follows the ground floor very closely, but the bedroom accommodation for the staff is somewhat small, or would be so if it were not possible for nurses to sleep in the duty-rooms, there being no necessity in a convalescent home for a nurse to be always awake.
Interior of one of the Wards.
The large dormitories are on the upper floor, and a single duty-room serves for both. Where neither space nor money is restricted there is a good deal to be said in favour of this L-shaped plan, especially when arranged, as in this case, with regard to the points of the compass, the patients obtaining full advantage of the sunshine, while the kitchens are upon the cool side.
Fig. 31. - Convalescent Home at High Beech. By T. W. Cutler, F.R.I.B.A.