Brighton children's hospital judged best public building
8 October 2008
The new Royal Alexandra Children's Hospital in Brighton is the winner of the Prime Minister's Better Public Building Award this year.
The new Royal Alexandra Children's Hospital in Brighton has won this year's Prime Minister's Better Public Building Award.
The hospital's nautical form with white concrete panels and bright bands of colour reflects its Brighton setting. A complex brief was met with great ingenuity, with the tight site within the grounds of the Royal Sussex County Hospital skilfully negotiated.
The light-filled atrium at the heart of the building provides a bright and welcoming reception, and all the bedrooms, as well as the sundeck play area, have a sea view.
The hospital has been providing pioneering paediatric care for 120 years. Now, with double the number of beds, more children can be treated closer to home.
The new PFI hospital was commissioned by the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust and delivered by Kajima Partnerships with designers BDP. Its success partly reflects the fact that users had a strong voice. Children and young people, their families and the hospital staff were fully involved in the project from the start, including through a Children and Young People's Board.
The Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP, said: 'This is an outstanding achievement, from design through to construction. It showcases what can be achieved when high-quality design is coupled with effective delivery. I hope that the hospital will prove to be an inspiration to other planners, developers and architects.'
The hospital is themed as a giant ark full of animals, with each colour-coded level representing a different habitat. Family accommodation on the top level includes en-suite bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms and terraces. Furniture has been specially designed, with every in-patient bed equipped with its own pull-out bed for a parent.
The Prime Minister's Better Public Building Award is part of the British Construction Industry Awards and recognises both high-quality design and effective delivery. It is sponsored jointly by CABE and the Office of Government Commerce.