Aberdeen Community Health and Care Village

Explore how a clear vision and collaboration helped create a wellness and community-centred healthcare facility.

A street view of Aberdeen Community Health and Care Village, with its distinctive white façade, on Frederick Street.
Published: 18/08/2016

Aberdeen Community Health and Care Village was commissioned by NHS Grampian in 2004 to bring together several services located across Aberdeen into one convenient location for the community. 

The building includes a wide range of medical services including dietetics, physiotherapy and sexual health. It is located in the city centre where it is easy to access. 

The client wanted the centre to feel like a ‘village’ for the community: a place with multiple facilities that fosters wellness and community – not just a ‘hospital’ where they go when they are sick. 

The choice to veer away from the terms ‘health centre’ or ‘community hospital’ had far-reaching implications for the design and finished facility. The building is a bright, uplifting space that the people of Aberdeen feel comfortable visiting. 

This case study looks at how NHS Grampian’s clear vision for the site, as well as consultation and collaboration, have been key to the successful delivery of the project. 

Case study: Aberdeen Community Health and Care Village

Read the full case study to find out more about the project, including further details on its architecture and design.

A street view of Aberdeen Community Health and Care Village's white façade, set against a bright blue sky.

Design approach

There was a comprehensive programme of consultation with staff at all levels and members of the public. 

Together with regular articles in the local press, this all made the transition for everyone to the new building much easier. 

The agencies involved worked closely on managing assets and delivery. This collaboration on service provision should have positive long-term outcomes for Aberdeen as a whole. 

Image credit: Niall Hastie


Getting around the building is intuitive for visitors and the village ethos is clear. They arrive in the ‘village square’ – an atrium flooded by natural light with a welcome desk and café. It is welcoming and bright even on an overcast day. 

They are then directed discreetly to a colour-coded zone for their appointment, with courtyards on both floors clearly directing patients left or right. 

Department areas function like separate streets, with the village square, courtyards and circulation areas as the spaces in between. 

Subtle angles, curves and rounded edges to rooms gently nudge visitors in the right direction, allowing glimpses to the next point along their route.

Opportunities for cross-team collaboration

Having all services in one place makes it easier for different teams to work together. For example, the police have a forensic suite in the building, which has access to on-site doctors. 

The queue for the café, which serves the whole building, is also an opportunity for staff members from different teams to interact.

“The café works very well for that because [different departments] wait in the same queue to get coffee … there’s not a separate queue for different people – it’s open at the same times for everybody. That definitely works.”

Sandy Reid, Senior Service Manager Aberdeen Health and Community Care Village 
Looking down at Aberdeen Community Health and Care Village cafe and reception area in the atrium from the first floor.
Looking over the cafe area showing the first floor corridor often used for music performances. Image credit: Niall Hastie

Community integration

The village square is an uplifting, positive space; it is welcoming to anyone who might be anxious about their visit. 

Meeting spaces on the second floor are available to community groups free of charge, providing them with an easily accessible and affordable location in the city centre. 

Since relocation there has been a marked increase in the number of people accessing sexual health services. This could be because attending a general health building, rather than a specific sexual health service, provided more anonymity for patients. 

There have also been regular concerts on the first-floor corridor that overlooks the café. Local music students get performance space while lightening the mood for staff and visitors. 

“I often say we’re in this space in Aberdeen because it’s most convenient for patients, not staff, and it’s a balance … you can’t have services without staff, but we are not here for the benefit of staff, we are here for the benefit of patients.”  

Sandy Reid, Senior Service Manager Aberdeen Health and Community Care Village 

Header image credit: Niall Hastie

Further examples of healthcare facilities

We have more case studies on healthcare facilities available on our website. These case studies cover a broad range projects ranging from hospitals to dental practices.

An internal courtyard with a green floor, chairs, bean bags and a giant outdoor chess set. The courtyard is surrounded by a glass wall.

Stratheden Intensive Psychiatric Care Unit

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A large tree in full leaf next to the health centre on a sunny day. Several cars are parked on the road outside.

Kentish Town Health Centre

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The exterior of a single storey building clad in timber with evenly spaced windows, the sun is setting in the background

Dumfries Dental Centre

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