Evelina Children’s Hospital

Designed by Michael Hopkins and Partners

Evelina Children’s Hospital, a specialist unit of St Thomas’ Hospital opposite the Houses of Parliament on London’s South Bank, suggests a new approach to health care design.

Evelina Children’s Hospital is Michael Hopkins and Partners first healthcare project, and shows how ideas pioneered in workplace design can be applied to hospital design. Like offices, hospitals demand efficient operations and flexible layouts, but casual social interaction is also important. So at Evelina, we broke with the typical layout of long corridors and bland wards, proposing a simple section of two long blocks flanking a central concourse which rises the full height of the building. The closely linked lower three levels have the most intensively serviced functions; operating theatres, imaging equipment and outpatient departments. Above, the northerly block has three floors of wards, while the southerly block transforms into a spacious and airy four storey conservatory under a giant curving roof.

The conservatory is the social heart of the building. Wall climber lifts rise through it to connect each floor, and all the wards have open plan social and day areas overlooking this space, with private rooms facing north on the other side of a strip of nurses stations and service areas. The conservatory is high enough for views into Lambeth Palace garden, and large enough for a café and waiting area, as well as providing space for activities, such as play sessions, lessons, exhibitions and even informal performances. A solar collector in winter, and naturally ventilated by stack effect in summer, the conservatory aids the servicing strategy of the building as well as offering relief from hospital routine and treatment. Throughout, structure and services are flexible. Using pre-fabricated components, as much as possible, gives maximum scope for future changes.

The following pictures are from a display board that was exhibited as part of Architects for Health’s contribution to HOSPEX 2002 in Japan

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