A public pavilion for the Maudsley Charity promoting awareness of mental health, with spaces for learning, meeting, exhibition and events connected by a grand staircase.

Maudsley Charity
Camberwell, London
£4.65 million

“This precisely considered learning centre provides an elegant oasis of openness that links a south London psychiatric facility with its historic urban surroundings.” Ellis Woodman, Building Design
“ORTUS is a resonant work – whispering, but muscular with it. It allows itself to be liberated by the fact that, once the technical requirements have been dealt with, the brief is pure: it is to make places for people to speak to each other, as they might once have done in a garden outside Athens, or on a hill in Palestine.” Rowan Moore, Slow Burn City
“We wanted to prove to our clients that a few thoughtful, simple, repeated details and a careful choice of materials was all that was necessary. There was no need to try and add more.” Miranda MacLaren, Architect
  • Site is within Maudsley Hospital Campus on Denmark Hill, south London
  • Stagger from three to four storeys across sloping site communicated externally via expressed floorplates
  • Open stairwell creates circulation and informal auditorium space
  • Public café at ground floor helps to destigmatise preconceptions of mental health
  • Flexible venue, learning and exhibition spaces take advantage of digital technologies
  • BREEAM Excellent rating, via passive environmental strategy
  • Complex stakeholder group including users, Kings College Hospital, the Institute of Psychiatry and community groups
  • Rectilinear external grid of precast concrete fins frames contrasting infill materials of brick and glass
  • Brick blended from London clay colour at ground level through to grey sky shade higher up

Client: Maudsley Charity
Client Representative: Articulate
Structural Engineer: Elliott Wood
Environmental Engineer: Skelly & Couch

Post-occupancy visit. July 2023 "The café has been such a success and in such demand that it has had to be reconfigured to be larger and allow for a larger queuing area, and is not twice the size."
Post-occupancy visit. July 2023 "It’s such a warm and welcome space for people to come in and have a coffee and spend an hour or two, with quite a few students coming over from Kings College."
Post-occupancy visit July 2023
Welcome to Ortus
Meeting space hire We cater for any event, come and see!
Central staircase Curtains can be drawn across to create separate spaces and privacy
Neat storage space Hidden away to keep rooms clutter-free
Community Cafe Sunny days bring cafe spillage into Ortus's surrounding landscape.
Flexible spaces The sequence of foldable partitions that can be closed or opened to provide fully flexible spaces.
Multi-use learning space Using single and double height spaces to bring ample natural light and division of the space.
Flexible spaces Curtains are used to screen or extend the central atrium break out space.
Opening Event within the central gathering space with the client, Maudsley Charity.
Opening Event within the central gathering space with the client, Maudsley Charity.
On Site Progression Floors, stairs and balustrades are installed in preparation for floor finishes.
Views Over London The concrete structure frames views over London.
The Central Staircase The threshold between the concrete stairs and the raised access floors for the flexible meeting & learning spaces.
Concrete Frame The concrete frame reveals the coffered soffit created to house the building services including chilled beams.
Concrete Frame The cast in-situ frame reveals optimised internal spans, whilst keeping the slab depth as efficient as possible.
Site Visit Site visit to see the cast in-situ superstructure.
The Coffered Ceiling cast to achieve a special finish and designed to integrate ceiling mounted services.
Site Visit as ground works are commenced.
Single and double Height Spaces are designed to offer maximum flexibility of space division whilst bringing an influx of natural light into the spaces.
Floor by Floor Axo illustrating flexible meeting & teaching spaces around the perimeter enclosing the central staircase.
Rhythm and Landscape capturing the concept of a vertical grid that responds to the shifting levels of the surrounding landscape.
Grid Exploration A series of models exploring the grid and infill proportion in relation to programme.
Exploring the Ground Condition Using the model to explore fenestration position, rhythm and size.
Early Design Development exploring options of a ground floor podium with an enclosed courtyard.