BDP designs for health

Principal in BDP’s Manchester officer, Ged Couser, presented at “Healthy Cities” on some of the latest thinking in hospital design, and how one hospital trust’s ambition on taking a clean sheet approach: ‘Alder Hey in Liverpool was a nice Victorian hospital that got buried over the last 100 years by additions that happened in a very ad-hoc way, which is not unique across England’.

'The Hospital Trust did a very clever deal with the City, which got community buy-in. The hospital was next to the public Springfield Park, part of Liverpool’s chain of historic parks which it is famous for. The city gave half of the park to the hospital on the agreement that once the new hospital was built, the old estate would be demolished, with a new park reinstated but turned through 180 degrees, and given back to the local community.

'The community lost half of its park for five years but what it got back was very much better. It is much improved, with places to grow things, better spaces to play, and it links the community more effectively. Alder Hey is also adding a new research building, a community rehabilitation centre and also some housing which will bring capital receipts back to the trust.

'The key to the design is how it connects to the landscape. The ward “fingers” stretch out into the park and this allows patients and their families to get out into green spaces very easily. Integration of landscape, building and art has been crucial to the success of the design. We work closely with artist Lucy Casson, whose graphics and patterns have been woven into the glass balusters of the staircases, and into other areas'.