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Project Focus - St John and St Elizabeth Hospital

Design and build practice Facilitate Spaces are a long-time partner we have

collaborated with many times. Last year, they brought us on board for one of the

most challenging and enjoyable projects we have worked on in some time. A daycare centre in a leading London hospital was to undergo a transformative

refurbishment, and we were asked to support the completion of a unique and

innovative design, with our in-house team then tasked with installation.

A new Wellbeing Centre for the hospital’s St John’s Hospice

St John and St Elizabeth is a private, charitable hospital in North London, a couple of hundred yards from the famous Abbey Road Studios. Profits from private health care are used to fund St John's Hospice, located within the hospital site. The project involved the update of an existing day unit, resulting in what the hospital describes as “the transformation of the unit into our all-new St John’s Wellbeing Centre”.

Lauren Alston, Design Director at Facilitate Spaces, turned to us to support her in completing the design, with respect to furniture and specialist joinery.

The design vision for the centre

“The overall design for the space was especially exciting,“ comments Bradley Fielden, Clarke Rendall’s Sales & Marketing Director.

“Moveable partitions were designed, allowing staff to quickly create breakout areas or expand the main communal space,“ Bradley explains. “Nurse stations had to be of a tuckaway design, so they too could pack away completely when needed.”

Lacquered timber was used to create a 3D feature wall, centred on a TV that displays messages for those present. The design called for several “tea point” kitchenettes to be available to staff throughout the space.

As well as creating design proposals in collaboration with Lauren, early work involved assessing material requirements for costing and arranging samples. Mock-ups were created to allow approval of design elements and final colourways.

“The design stage of the project went very smoothly,” continues Bradley. “Lauren knew what she wanted, we just helped her to fill in the gaps. We had to keep in mind that all items to be installed needed to perform in a public medical space, as well as meet an aesthetic vision.”

Our effort was aided by the fact that the design team, always working in our facility and not remotely, are able to collaborate very directly with one another and with their colleagues in the onsite factory area where the units were to be made by our specialists.

Design details

The design called for high-quality finishes, to create a warm, welcoming and relaxing feel. For our contribution, laminates were carefully chosen from suppliers Polyrey, Egger and Kronospan, finished with beautiful handle details in satin brass and heritage brass. Colours included Chene Topia (Polyrey C130), Denim Blue (Egger U540 ST9), Tyrolean Blue (Egger (U504 ST9) and White Pearl Melamine Faced Chipboard (Kronospan K101).

Tea points used included Clerkenwell Super Matt Navy from Howdens, finished with Montelli Hailstorm solid surface materials for worktops and splashbacks. Our tuck away examination rooms featured 12mm thick Montelli Arctic White fascia panels, for a clean and hygienic performance and appearance.

Various details were hand sprayed in our in-house spray booth. This included paints and also the feature wall, which we were able to colour-match to Dulux 30YY 46/036.

A challenging exercise in logistics

No patients were present in the centre during our work, but Facilitate Spaces were overseeing a full fit out. Painters, plasterers, plumbers and all of the trades required for construction were present during the six-month programme.

Our Operations Manager Jill Dilley therefore faced a quite complex juggling act as she took charge of co-ordinating our installation, liaising with others working at the busy site. Jill, who has been with us for 20 years, is very experienced, and the installation also proceeded smoothly.

The site work was completed by our own staff – our specialist installation team being joined as needed by the makers who built the units and know them best. “We always complete installations that way,” adds Bradley. “Many of our competitors do subcontract this work, but we offer a premium and often bespoke service, and we feel the best results are obtained when specialists see to installation, as well as design and manufacture.”

A successful conclusion to a stimulating project

Our work on the centre finished towards the end of 2023, and the new facility was officially announced as open in January. For more about the centre, click here. “We were delighted to work with Lauren and the team at Facilitate Spaces again, and delighted to see such a fine centre now a beautiful resource for the community,” says Bradley.

“We’ve always been impressed with Clarke Rendall, with their teamwork and their technical drawings and their ability to find elements that will meet the design requirement,” agrees Lauren. “This was the largest project we have collaborated on, but everything was just as we hoped. They were flexible and helpful. They created a good programme which they stuck to, delivering right on time. 100%, we’ll be working with them again. In fact, we are tendering together on projects now.”

Drawing from our expertise as a bespoke furniture manufacturer, we understand that a staff area goes beyond mere visual appeal aligned with brand colours. It also involves careful consideration of the requirements of your staff members and all individuals utilizing the space.

"Whatever level of comprehensive look you want, at Clarke Rendall, we can deliver."

Martin Clarke, Managing Director

To discuss any specialist furniture or joinery project, please get in touch on 01908 391600 or by emailing


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