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Sheppard Robson completes University of Edinburgh horse hospital

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The state-of-the-art diagnostic and surgical facilities will treat all horses, from pets to Grand National winners

The £3.5 million Equine Diagnostic, Surgical and Critical Care Unit on the University of Edinburgh’s Easter Bush veterinary campus houses triage, radiography, ultrasound and surgical facilities, linking to refurbished space within the existing hospital which forms the new Critical Care Unit.

The form’s angular roofline is conceived as a modern interpretation of the traditional barn, and the external palette of materials take its queue from agricultural materials, using profiled sheet metal cladding and timber panels.

Elevation sketch

Elevation sketch

The split form of the roof indicates the separate internal organisation of the building: the smaller part houses the naturally ventilated diagnostic unit while the larger element contains the main surgical suite components and associated mechanical plant. These two areas are connected by the double-height central circulation zone, which provides a main arrival area and access to the upper floor viewing room.

The design was driven by the operational requirements that involve the movement of sedated horses, with the safe and easy movement of the animals a priority. This is achieved by a series of lifting beams and winches which are supported by a number of details throughout the building.

Architect’s view

We’ve housed the latest technology and veterinary thinking within a very simple architectural form that makes reference to agricultural outbuildings in terms of form and materiality. This distinctive profile will enable the project to become an important marker for the campus masterplan and an integral part of the university’s 2025 vision to create a state-of-the-art animal welfare and research hub.

James Dick, partner, Sheppard Robson

Project data

Area 1,100m²
Architect Sheppard Robson
Client University of Edinburgh
Project manager University of Edinburgh
Structural engineer Baker Hicks
M&E engineer Baker Hicks
Quantity surveyor Currie & Brown
Contractor McLaughlin & Harvey Construction

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