Architects collaborate to deliver new South Wing for the UK's first post-war hospital
Altnagelvin Hospital was the first hospital built in the UK after the Second World War, completed in 1960. Sitting in the picturesque Waterside Area of Derry City, the hospital tower is the tallest building in Londonderry.
The Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) appointed HLM Architects in association with Hall Black Douglas Architects in 2000 to master-plan the £150 million redevelopment of the hospital.
The brief necessitated that the redevelopment solution offer replacement facilities for some of the existing hospital key departments to enable the future decant of the existing tower for full refurbishment. The eventual design response resulted in a New South Wing designed as an architectural 'plinth' to the existing ten-storey tower building.
The New South Wing design solution clusters departments along a hospital street giving excellent departmental adjacencies and the efficient departmental planning facilitates the clinical functionality. The move from existing multi bed wards to a high percentage of single bed accommodation provided a challenge from both the design and nursing perspective. In
addition, fully integrated artwork enhances the ‘Healing Experience’ within the facility.
Internally, the design of the public circulation areas have been given particular attention in terms of focal points, break out areas and picture windows to provide amenity and vistas to the outside from internal corridors. The use of timber, glass and stainless steel provides an elegant and welcoming main public circulation route, with visitors welcomed at the main
entrance into a triple-height atrium space.
The New South Wing has been highly commended by staff, patients, and the Foyle Civic Trust, which commented: "It really is a stunning building. We were highly impressed by the quality, scale, style, finish and attention to detail, before we could even grasp the complexity of systems that [the architects] have brought to this new building."