The Alex

06 Jul 2007

BDP's Alex in Brighton wins international Health Care Award

The International Academy for Design & Health presented the BDP designed Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, Brighton with its Health Care Design Project Award at the 5th World Congress this year held in Glasgow 27 June -1st July. The Academy Awards aim to promote health in the built environment and highlight true success within the field of design and health recognising the achievements of design and health professionals. The new hospital is one of only seven dedicated paediatric hospitals in the UK. The site is outstanding with sea views in all directions which have been exploited. At the centre of the hospital, an atrium binds all levels together, ensures good day-lighting throughout the building and creates a strong sense of the whole, which is immediately perceived by anyone entering the Alex or moving up through it in the public lifts. This heart space serves as the outpatients’ reception and waiting area, and an adjacent café and shop form the social hub of the hospital, commanding panoramic views along Brighton’s seafront. The widespread use of colour is a key part of the design. It has been designed not to feel like a hospital. A top priority was for daylight and the design of shallow floors with day lit spaces has made the building very sustainable. The user and children-centered approach extends to all aspects of the design for this 15,500 square metre, 100 bed hospital: from the clinical-planning studies, which led to the departmental organisation, placing inpatients above and outpatients below clinical support, and ward layouts, which place all the bedrooms on the sea-view side, to the development of lighting, user-friendly environmental controls and child-scaled furniture and windows. The client was Kajima Construction Europe/ Brighton & Sussex University Hospital NHS Trust. BDP was appointed as architect, interior designer, building services engineer, civil & structural engineer, lighting designer and acoustic consultant for the £36 million project.

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