We are creating a hospital for children and young people that provides a truly supportive and therapeutic environment for them and their families. The focus is a child living within a world of care reaching outward in so far as is possible into a place that welcomes and stimulates them. Their single room is their personal space offering protection and a place to recover or to interact with others as they wish.
The design team (BDP Architects) are creating a world where sick children and young people are made to feel special because healing is an emotional and psychological journey as well as physical. It is our duty to provide for them as best we can.
We set out to create a hospital without precedent, the finest healthcare facilities in a sustainable building, featuring a sequence of spaces inside and out where children’s care and treatment are supported by facilities to enhance safety, comfort and recovery while allowing children’s creativity and freedom thrive. It’s about delivering an environment for staff and families’ to facilitate treatment and care to flourish.
The design team set out to create an attractive public area that links the new children’s hospital to the St. James’s hospital campus and the local community. The building should be as permeable as possible without detracting from the primary goal to create a safe clinical environment for children and young people. Particular attention has been given to the South Circular Road front façade and the proximity of the LUAS terminal to the west (Rialto). This area provides opportunities to create improved civic spaces to the locality.
In patient rooms are located in the top floors around a podium garden with views over the city in all directions. Positioning the wards on the upper floors provides an elevated site for the children who live in the hospital for sometimes long periods of time ensuring they have privacy when needed. It is also inherently more secure with minimal interface with daily hospital users. The rooms are all single ensuite and are designed to provide child and family friendly accommodation as a priority.
Plant rooms and two levels of car parking are located at basement. Outpatients, Diagnostic and treatment areas will be across first floors and an interstitial floor for plant rooms and administration, while the top levels are reserved for the patient rooms.
The hospital will exceed statutory requirements in sustainability and achieve the highest levels of environmental effectiveness possible. The design will positively address resource demand, building emissions, waste streams, noise, air quality, transport and ecological impact. The team are pursuing BREEAM international accreditation that recognises best in class green building strategies and practices throughout design, build and lifetime operation.
The health planners for the new children’s hospital have been reviewing data from the children’s hospitals since 2008, with external independent examination and using projected population growth and trends in healthcare have projected future service requirements. This informs the capacity accommodation and workforce required to deliver services that is expected to peak at 2020.