The Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award recognises publicly-funded projects that demonstrate innovative and productive construction, deliver value for money and bring real change for their communities. It is the pinnacle of the British Construction Industry Awards, organised by the Institution of Civil Engineers.
Liverpool’s forward-thinking project team at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust have constructed a new medical facility to provide top-quality healthcare in an environment designed to enhance patient recovery.
The trust consulted patients and their families on the design of the hospital. Almost 1,000 children contributed to the consultation process by drawing pictures to share their vision for what the hospital should look like.
Also known as the ‘hospital under the hill’, the structure follows the contours of the existing landscape, with grass from Liverpool’s surrounding Springfield Park curving up and over the building. The hospital treats 275,000 patients a year and 75% of children have their own room with pull out beds, offering more dignity and privacy to visiting families. All patients have easy access to relaxation areas including a giant indoor tree-house, play desks and fish tanks.
The £250 million purpose-built hospital was built by Laing O’Rourke and designed by architects BDP and British engineering firm WSP, Parsons Brinckerhoff. The majority of the workforce were local to the area, adding a sense of pride felt by the team who knew how the project would benefit young lives. The project supported 80 apprenticeships and 1,800 hours of work experience for local students.
The British Construction Industry Awards, organised by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE); New Civil Engineer; and the Architects Journal, provides an opportunity for British industry to demonstrate how civil engineers shape our world. All nominees’ projects are judged by senior industry clients and peers, providing a way to showcase engineering excellence.
Construction is a key sector of the UK economy, contributing an estimated £130 billion to the economy and providing 2.3 million jobs.
Minister for the Cabinet Office, Ben Gummer, said:
Alder Hey is a great example of how to transform public services in an innovative and cost effective way. Engaging the community in the design and using local apprentices to support the construction will ensure the hospital will continue to be at the heart of the community for generations to come.
Professor Tim Broyd, ICE Vice President and BCIA judge, commented:
This is public building at its very best. The innovative, ground breaking project involved the true integration of engineering and architecture, relying on a huge amount of collaboration between the partners involved.
Alder Hey Children’s Foundation Trust did an excellent job in engaging and consulting patients past and present in defining the needs of the building. The final design embraces its parkland setting, providing light, views and privacy to all sides, whilst allowing nature and relaxation into the building. This will make a fundamental difference to the lives of the children and families who rely on this building every day.
The projects shortlisted for the award included:
- City of Glasgow College, Riverside Campus
- South Devon Highway
- Hebburn Central Community Centre, South Tyneside
- Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour at UCL
- Plymouth School of Creative Arts