On the edge of the psychiatric hospital of the Maudsley at Denmark Hill is the new classical and contemporary Ortus Maudsley, a learning centre with a simplicity and high quality of detailing that suits its location at the bridge between the hospital and streets of residential houses. Designed by architects Duggan Morris’s, this building compliments King’s College London’s adjacent SGDP research building designed by Devereux Architects a decade ago.
Ellis Woodman writes in Building Design: “Ortus’ site has a distinctly purgatorial aspect: on the edge of the campus, it is bracketed to one side by an NHS-built horror bedecked in graph-paper terracotta tiles and to the other by one of the most appealing Georgian streets in south London. Duggan Morris’s design recognises both conditions. Like its immediate neighbour — and most buildings on the site — Ortus has been conceived as a standalone pavilion. However, its architectural expression takes its cue from the character of the older facades on Camberwell Grove: from their height, from their construction in brick, from the vertical proportion of their windows, and from their broadly equivalent ratio of solid to void. All this has been directed towards a design that has managed to satisfy the anxieties of the local conservation officer while achieving a stringently elemental character that is very much its own”