Photo – The temporary imaging centre.
The Chelsea Society values and supports the hospital, and welcomes the construction of a new building to replace the temporary building on Dovehouse Street, to house the hospital’s imaging equipment, together with rooms for use by staff and patients. All this is essential for diagnosis and treatment of many serious illnesses.
However, Dovehouse Street contains attractive terraced houses on the west side, and two important examples of Victorian/Edwardian hospital architecture on the east side. These are the former Chelsea Hospital for Women to the north and the former Nurses’ Home to the south.
Former Chelsea Hospital for Women
Former nurses’ home
Houses on the West side of Dovehouse St.
The Chelsea Society is concerned to maintain and enhance the amenity of Chelsea, and especially the visual amenity, and has therefore engaged with the hospital and their architects on the design of the west elevation of the proposed new building, on the Dovehouse Street frontage of the site.
The current design is much better than earlier versions, but the Society considers that an opportunity is being missed to create a building of which the hospital, and the people of Chelsea, could be proud. The proposed west elevation does not reflect any of the character, the style, or the charm, of Chelsea, including the existing buildings in Dovehouse Street, and should be rejected for that reason. The design gives no indication that the architect understands what makes Chelsea special.
We do understand that the hospital has limited funds for this project, and that the building must perform its intended function, but in our view a well-designed building which enhances its environs need not cost more than one which does not.