The Suttie Centre for Teaching and Learning in Healthcare brings together NHS Clinical Skills Training and the University of Aberdeen Department of Anatomy to provide a building which augments the key relationship between the University and the NHS and provides interdisciplinary education for all healthcare professions.
The underlying vision for the Suttie Centre was not only to promote clinical excellence but also to act as an inspirational environment for students and professionals. This is vitally important to both attract and retain the highest quality students and staff and thereby retain Aberdeen’s long history of excellence in health education. Spaces are therefore deliberately configured to help formal and informal interaction. The building houses contemporary and historic artefacts as a learning resource and an important link to the history of medicine and its particular resonance with Aberdeen.
The design achieved a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ award in 2008, with the highest rating to date in the ‘Bespoke’ category. The building, (6,500 m² gross) makes use of the thermal mass of an exposed concrete structure and is largely naturally ventilated. Elements of the building have therefore been computer modelled to predict future summer temperatures in rooms to ensure they do not overheat, particularly with the knowledge that temperatures are set to rise because of global warming.
The site, in the north of the Foresterhill campus, is ideally placed for both institutions and offers an opportunity for a new external social space and a link to the adjacent walled garden at Foresterhill House. This provides a quiet and leafy spot in a busy campus. Plant species were being sourced with their medicinal use in mind, thereby relating the building’s function directly to its landscape setting.