RHN – Jack Emerson Centre

About This Project

Cowan Architects were commissioned to design a new 16 bedroom ward at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability in Putney, a regular client of ours.

The new ward was formed in a disused day hospital area, and adjacent departmental office space. The brief was to create updated accommodation for current residents reliant on ventilator equipment to facilitate their rehabilitation, with an emphasis on creating a more residential facility than the existing ward. Whilst the site formed part of a 1985 extension the larger part of the RHN facilities date back many years and the buildings are Grade II listed. A listed building and planning application was therefore required prior to construction.

Concurrently temporary works to provide replacement accommodation for the departmental offices were undertaken.

The Ward has been named the Jack Emerson centre, after one of the pioneers in the field of biomedical respiratory equipment. Jack Emerson was a pioneer of the ‘Iron Lung’ back in 1931. It was officially opened by Paralympic Athlete & TV Presenter, Ade Adepitan.

Cowan Architects worked closely with RHN Staff, including Occupational Therapists, Speech & Language Therapists and Assistive and Rehabilitation Technology specialists on the design. The existing was staff and residents were also actively involved with design matters. Each bedroom has an accent wall and door decorated specifically to its new occupant’s taste.

The RHN’s Project Manager was Geoff Day and Cowan Architects received support from Quantity Surveyors Brack Meekins Partnership and M&E Engineers Crofton Design. The CDM Coordinators were Shore Engineering Ltd. The Main Contractor was Firmo Ltd, the project value was just on the friendly side of £1.0M ant it was completed on programme and on budget.

The RHN staff and patients were delighted with the final building and we continue to carry out commissions for this fantastic charity.





London, Putney, Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability