Whenever AFL sits down at the beginning of a project and thinks about the design of a building, it is always with the end customer at the heart of the design – how they will use the building, how to make it as inclusive and accessible for all, and what will make the end customer want to visit and use the building.
This was never more top of mind with the new Children Development Unit (CDU) Rainbow Hub for AFL’s long-standing client, the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust. Having relocated their CDU to a new location, the Clock House in Elland, Huddersfield, the AFL team was appointed as Lead Designer, working with the Trust team to develop the designs from Stage 1 high level feasibility to a successful delivery with the opening of the facility in April 2023.
The scope and layout of the CDU was developed with key stakeholders including the Trust’s estate teams, clinicians and engaging the ultimate client – the children and the families that were to use the unit. The facility includes a two-story building that accommodates on the ground floor consultation rooms for families and children, a waiting area with multi-sensory interactive area for the children to play, a sensory room, a hideaway room and quiet rooms, breastfeeding spaces as well as bathroom facilities for those using reclining wheelchairs. The hub also includes an upstairs for those working both at the CDU as well as a base for those out in the community, split into hot desking areas, meeting rooms and hub rooms where staff can take Teams and confidential calls.