New hospital in Rhondda Valley provides a clinical facility for the local community
Ysbyty Cwm Rhondda, Llwynypia is Nightingale Associates’ new 108-bed community hospital situated in the Rhondda Valley. Commissioned in 2004 by Cwm Taf Health Board (then Pontypridd and Rhondda NHS Trust) and funded by the Welsh Assembly, the 13,500 sq m new-build scheme became fully operational last month. Providing new clinical accommodation to replace the out-moded and inappropriate existing facilities, the £23m building celebrates the reconciliation of a contemporary aesthetic with a contextual response while providing an exemplary healthcare facility for the community.
The iconic valleys terrace, with its robust use of materials and arrangement as a linear form in the landscape has been a major influence on the design. The scheme is conceived as a series of linear, sliding planes, arranged on a north-south orientation. Nightingale Associates’ architect and Cardiff studio director, Jamie Brewster, said, “Having secured such a promising site, the client was instrumental in encouraging the whole team to unlock its potential. We hope the results demonstrate that our response to the context has resulted in a facility of which the Rhondda Valley can be proud.”
The clinical brief required many facilities to be provided, including inpatient wards (4 x 27 bed wards) therapies (physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech & language therapy, dietetics), outpatients (podiatry, ENT suite, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, general clinics), x-ray, ante-natal, minor accident centre, primary care centre, support facilities (pharmacy, chapel, mortuary, administration, estates, medical records, energy centre).
The scheme, which scored a NEAT ‘Excellent’ rating, incorporates the use of a biomass boiler as the hospital’s primary heat source, despite budget restraints. At the time of its design in 2004, the use of biomass boilers was especially innovative in its application in a healthcare setting. Other low-energy design initiatives include a sophisticated Building Management System (BMS), automatic lighting controls in appropriate locations and maximisation of natural daylight and ventilation.