Designed to be a ‘home-from-home,’ the 2200m2 footprint includes spaces for palliative care, relaxation and adventure.
The oak frame provides a focal point that the four ‘wings’ connect to, housing rooms for therapy, play, bedrooms, family rooms and offices for the charity staff.
It is a series of portal frames with central bolted plate connections, with all wind loading taken by other structures. Dead loads, such as the weight of the roof, are easily supported on the 350 x 250mm main rafters. The external frame has 350 x 350mm posts with 350 x 450mm main rafters.
The main challenge raising the frame on-site was shoring it into the correct position, as the frame had no bracing. Unlike a traditional complete oak frame, this structure was a series of oak trusses with separate structural skin. These two layers of structure are interdependent, so when raising the structure we raised the frame first, meaning the huge weight of the large oak trusses had to be temporarily supported using shoring timbers.
The enclosure is a series of basic goalposts clad in timber kindly donated from Schnatmeir sawmill.
Externally, easy access to the landscaped gardens that surround the main building allows patients, staff and visitors to enjoy the outdoor areas as well as the more functional interior.
‘Noah’s Ark has been a beacon of light for the children and families it serves, so I’m delighted that they have a brand-new home. The Ark will ensure that children across north and central London receive the best possible care and support.’ Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, who formally opened the building