Feng shui design for proposed healthcare headquarters


The new Supermax headquarters would incorporate feng shui principles Photo: David Turnock / DT Architects

The potential new base for Supermax Healthcare, which is one of the largest disposable glove producers in the world, would be built at Kingston Park to the north of Pump House Pit County Wildlife Site. 

The proposal is for headquarters office use and the breaking down of bulk delivery medical supplies, storage, repackaging and distribution, with a total external area of around 5,600 metres squared.

Planning permission was previously granted for the development in 2015, but in an application to Peterborough City Council the applicants explained that that permission has now expired as the development did not go ahead for business reasons. However, it is now proposed to reapply for that same consent as the business is now in a position to implement it.

The company, based in Fengate, has already acquired plots 2,3,4 and 5 and plots 9-12 from R&H Developments Limited who have developed a number of successful business parks in and around Peterborough.

R&H includes ownership of the wildlife site and their plans include management and maintenance proposal for the ecological assets including enhancements and the enrichment of habitat and ongoing monitoring. Those proposals are the subject of a separate condition discharge approvals and a more recent REM approval.

If approved the building would immediately become one of the most distinctive in Peterborough, with a curved glass structure and 'sculptural solar shading'.

The application says of the shading: "Taking Feng-Shui influences (eg. water, fluidity, movement, free energy) whilst emulating the adjacent lake, the sculptural shape symbolises branches & growth.

"Water starts from one place, flowing into different streams/routes, expanding & feeding into other areas. This is similar for the growth of a tree, from a seed to its roots & branches. This is all a symbolic link to the company's building, business and its work output/ethos. The sculpture-like design also represents a human hand/glove, which is a direct link to Supermax's work and main products.

"The finger-like characteristics are vertically placed and the bends have been carefully designed so that the sculpture is seen as having its palm facing outwards (curvature to go outwards), rather than the back of the hand (which would be against Feng-Shui principles).

"The symbolism has been taken further and is linked to the dragon side. As the dragon is the protector, this sculpture acts like the dragon in the way it seems to hold the building. The organic sculptural element integrates with the building, is visually appealing and acts as a beacon to signal the building entrance from the overall site access."

The premises would have staff numbers of around 35, and the plan would also include 46 parking spaces.

Supermax currently exports to over 146 countries worldwide in the regions of America, Europe, Middle East, Asia and the South Pacific, and produces up to 17.6 billion gloves per year, which equates to approximately 11% of world demand for latex examination gloves. The Supermax Group has nine manufacturing plants based in Malaysia equipped with state-of-the-art machinery, energy-saving biomass systems and a research and development centre