The John Morden Centre, a new day care and health facility at the Morden College senior living community in southeast London, received the 2023 RIBA Stirling Prize, which is awarded to the UK’s best new building.

Designed by architecture firm (London), the multipurpose hub unites various spaces spread across the campus in a single structure, breathing new life into a 300-year-old building. The senior living center includes treatment rooms, a hair salon, nail bar, event spaces, and wellness facilities and is designed to promote connection and movement.

Connecting senior living amenities

The firm’s approach introduced a meandering timber “spine” that weaves together a series of brick pavilions, each dedicated to various care and enrichment programs, including a medical center, consultation rooms, art space, café, and offices.

Stepping inside the spine reveals an enclosed, forest-like walkway. The space incorporates places to rest and linger, with concealed handrails and built-in seating throughout for added convenience. The journey culminates in a larger hall, which is seamlessly integrated into the existing building.

“The John Morden Centre has been a really fulfilling project to work on,” says Alex Ely, founding director at Mæ. “At a time when adult social care is in a perilous state, this award demonstrates that there is hope for the sector and the project offers up a model for others in the health and care sector, inspiring them to create environments that positively impact people’s mental and physical health.”

(This article was republished from Healthcare Design’s sister publication Hospitality Design.)