Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, Brighton, East Sussex

Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, Brighton, East Sussex
Project Information
  • Client: Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Principal designer: Building Design Partnership
  • Principal contractor: Kajima Construction Europe (UK)
  • Contract value: £37 million

About the project

Much effort has been made to create a calm and colourful environment at Brigton’s new children’s hospital. Its success will be measured in health and recovery as much as value for money.

Built on a tight site overlooking the seafront, the design came to be known as the ‘children’s ark’. It presents a cheerful and reassuring picture, with rounded corners and a sheltering roof, appealing to children, families and staff. The aim was to give every bedroom a sea view and ensure that all inhabited rooms – even the operating theatres – had a window. The nautical form of the building, with its white pre-cast concrete panels echoing Brighton’s stucco and irregular punctuation of child-scaled windows, has a light and airy atrium that links the floors together.

Equal attention has been given to the detail: for example, specially designed furniture in the atrium; bespoke bedhead lighting that simulates dawn light to gently wake patients; and artworks integrated into the building.

The client is delighted – not only because the hospital was completed on time and on budget but also because it is: ‘a labour of love – a building I’m immensely proud of, to serve the children and young people of our city’.

Judges' comment

"The hospital adds the right touch of gaiety to both the children’s experience and the Brighton seafront."

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