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Dreadnought Tiles top off new-build hospital unit on historic site

Architects working on a new hospital unit in Birmingham were tasked with designing a building that would win local approval after 'people power' forced planners to reject proposals for a modern flat roofed scheme.

Moseley Hall Hospital, just three miles from Birmingham city centre, sits within a Conservation Area in a locality with buildings influenced by the arts and crafts style. It was therefore vital for the new development, a National Centre for Excellence for old people's mental health services, to complement its surroundings.


Original plans for a flat roofed design were turned down following opposition by residents who wanted a building that reflected the character of those within the area. Rugby-based architects The Design Buro were appointed to come up with a design for the £17.7 million unit that would win the approval of residents, satisfy planners, blend well with the area and complement the hall itself. The solution featured a building with the roof as a dominant feature and it was therefore imperative to select the right roof covering, with Dreadnought Tiles specified as the most appropriate choice.


In total, some 227,000 Red/Blue Sandfaced Dreadnought tiles were supplied for the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust project, together with matching eaves, gables, cloaked verges and half round ridges.


[quote top=Dreadnought Tiles' managing director Alex Patrick-Smith said:] Because the appearance of the roof on this new specialist unit was so key to the overall design success of the project it was vital that the right roofing tile was chosen. Dreadnought Red/Blue Sandfaced tiles fit perfectly with the vernacular of the area, delivering a look that highlights the unique aesthetic of a naturally coloured tile. You cannot achieve the subtle variation in colour on this roof through the use of tiles with applied surface stains.[/quote]


Richard Ali, of The Design Buro, was equally pleased with the completed building: "We felt we needed to use a domestic, traditional roofing material to blend in with the surrounding architecture," he said. "The planners liked Dreadnought Tile's red/blue colour as it fitted in well with the surrounding buildings. Practical considerations required that the roof contain a number of air intake louvres that were cloaked to blend in with the roofline. Dreadnought was able to supply all the fittings that we needed. We are very pleased with the result."


A spokesman for main contractor Interserve Project Services said: "This new facility will not only aesthetically enhance the existing estate at Moseley Hall, but it has been designed to provide a high quality level of care."