Intuitive wayfinding and small footprint both key factors for Birmingham's new hospital
The new Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham is one of the largest in the UK, but its design stems from a focus on the needs of the individual patient, visitor or member of staff. Central to this is the principle of intuitive wayfinding, where the site masterplan and building form provide visual clues for patients, including the use of daylight to emphasise key decision making points and destinations internally.
Diagnostic and treatment areas are subdivided by large garden spaces, in order to give patients a sense of contact with landscape and the outside world. Inpatient accommodation is located at higher levels with spectacular views of the surrounding area, countryside and Birmingham's skyline.
The hospital supports the privacy and dignity of patients, with circulation routes which separate flows of visitors, patients and staff, supply and disposal, in order that patients are not overlooked.
The stacked arrangement of the hospital allows staff with specialist expertise to be shared between outpatient departments and wards. As a result patients receive greater continuity of expert treatment from specialist staff. The footprint of the hospital is also very compact, minimising walk distances and allowing clinical staff to spend more time caring for patients.