CODA Architects shortlisted for the Building Design Architect of the Year awards

The awards will be hosted by writer and broadcaster Stephen Fry and held at the ExCel Centre in London on March 9

CODA Architects have been shortlisted for the prestigious annual Building Design Architect of the Year awards in the Public Building Architect of the Year category.

The awards will be hosted by writer and broadcaster Stephen Fry and held at the ExCel Centre in London on March 9. Shortlisted schemes will be displayed at Ecobuild which is at ExCel, March 8 - 10.

CODA Architects were shortlisted for multiple projects realised at the Bristol Royal Infirmary in central Bristol for University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust.

The new buildings designed over a 10 year period involving 5 specific projects and over 27 phases create a new centre of clinical gravity from elements each with unique constraints and impacts on the organization of the existing hospital, each requiring distinct expression whilst creating a fully integrated service. The projects provide a New Model for Health Facilities whilst acting as a catalyst for the incorporation of Art.

Major interventions in the BRI precinct were a Ward Block - built to facilitate the transfer of inpatient accommodation from the Old Building (built in 1735); rationalisation and reconfiguration of Paediatric Services; a regional Cardiothoracic Centre and an extension to the Haematology and Oncology Centre.

The New Ward block forms the cornerstone to the redevelopment masterplan for the Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI) precinct. The new building replaces outdated inpatient facilities and allows a clinical rationalisation of the existing estate.

The new facility includes a medical assessment unit, dementia care, paediatric facilities, ITU and surgical wards.

The existing hospital consists of a number of disjointed buildings, connected to each other on various levels via a combination of links, bridges and tunnels. The steeply sloping nature of the site results in patients entering the hospital from any level between one and seven and this combined with the long, windowless corridors of the complex made wayfinding difficult. A key objective of the scheme was to assist in the rationalisation of the internal circulation by providing a central reference point, reconcile level changes and assist in orientation. Furthermore the scheme rationalises the delivery/ service road by providing a safer independent tunnel access.

The site is prominent but confined, located centrally within the hospital complex. The surrounding hospital buildings are of varied age and styles. The site borders a number of conservation areas and is overlooked by numerous buildings. The new ward block has been designed to integrate with existing buildings on the site in form, scale, choice of materials and aesthetics, whilst also considering the visual impact of the building on the public realm.

The new ward block creates a new beating heart at the centre of the BRI precinct. Designed to create a light and airy feel that is welcoming and uplifting, the building provides a stimulating environment to aid patient recovery. The central atrium which allows natural daylight to penetrate deep in the heart of the building forms a focus. The building provides visual interest by avoiding monotony, aiding orientation for patients and providing a more satisfying working environment for staff.

The construction process utilised BIM to design for off-site manufacturing and deliver large sections of the external envelope complete and ready to be craned into place. This reduced construction time and minimised disruption to the busy working hospital.

In order to maintain existing pedestrian and vehicular access routes through the site, and breakdown the massing of the building, the upper levels are conceived as two separate blocks. On the north elevation both blocks extend beyond the lower levels to form covered pedestrian access to the new Paediatric department. The lower levels of the building conceived as a plinth on which the upper levels sit.

At the uppermost level of each block the cladding is set back from the main elevations to minimise its visual impact in a similar manner to a traditional mansard roof.

A major focus for the new facility and reinforcing the adjustment of the clinical centre of gravity is an Atrium with a sculptural artwork (Terrell) by Studio Weave forming the centre piece of the Trusts Whole Hospital Arts plan.

The project brief for the Centralisation of Specialist Paediatric Services (CSP) was to rationalise the services previously dispersed throughout the Avon region onto a single site at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children (BRHC). The scheme also formed part of the bigger vision for the Bristol Royal Infirmary complex.

This radical re-organisation of provision created a fully integrated service for emergency and elective care, supported by state of the art theatres for Burns, Neuro (combining theatre and MRI) and a Hybrid Theatre with a combined “C” arm. The vision was both ambitious and technically challenging, involving 15 different departments, introducing new procedures and facilities to deliver a more holistic approach.

The project consists of a number of refurbishments and alterations to the existing building as well as a number of extensions on the roof and at the rear.

The site was very tightly constrained, abutting other buildings on all sides creating challenges in both construction methodology and contextualisation. The adjacent buildings are of varying ages and styles, so each extension was individually designed to suit its locality, and take into consideration viability of construction. The rear extension, for example, was designed to be built within a confined space, whilst the playroom extension to the BMT ward was designed to be largely pre-fabricated and craned into place.

The complex nature of the scheme resulted in a prolonged and complex programme of construction works involving numerous decants and departmental moves to ensure continuity of service provision throughout.

The scheme has been designed as far as possible to allow for flexibility and future change in service provision. Room sizes are modular and internal partitions are plasterboard, to allow for change in use.

Hospitals can be scary and intimidating places, especially for children. The design approach was to soften the institutional feel of the building to create a more approachable, relaxing and age appropriate environment. By utilising colour and light and integrating artworks from the outset, the scheme provides points of interest to distract patients from the clinical activities taking place.

The original building for Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre (BHOC), was built in the 1970 and was in need of updating and extending to bring it in line with current standards and models of care.

The project included the extension and refurbishment of the BHOC including a new LINAC facility, teenage/ young adult accommodation and Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT) Facilities. The scheme has allowed more patients to be treated, in more appropriate facilities, using modern procedures. Two new LINAC bunkers have been created below ground to expand existing services and accommodate newer, more powerful and more accurate machines.

The extension to BHOC is in a very prominent and sensitive location. It is opposite a grade 2 listed building, forms a new frontage to the road, is on the border between a number of conservation areas and is overlooked by numerous buildings.

The Trust, therefore, instigated meetings with the local residents committee to discuss thoughts and concerns over the design. The design developed from a very conceptual stage with the input and feedback from local residents and although, not all the feedback was positive, the majority have welcomed the scheme and “like the way it covers up the gloomy façade of the existing Oncology building”. The final form of the building reflects a positive response to comments on issues such as context, scale, massing, sustainability and buildability.

The BHOC treats people on a daily basis with terminal or life threatening illnesses. Creating the right environment for that treatment to take place has been proven to improve the emotional perception of the experience. The appropriateness of materials, colour schemes, interior decoration and artwork, all contribute to a sense of calm.

Due to ongoing extensive research the treatment of cancer is constantly evolving. It is therefore essential that a building of this type is able to evolve accordingly. Modular room sizes and a centralised circulation core, combined with the use of lightweight partitions allow for maximum future flexibility, with minimum disruption to services.

Functional content and clinical adjacencies have driven the space and area of the building forming a series of floor plates of differing sizes, with largest at the top and smallest at the bottom. The physical constraints of the existing building, entrance and external circulation (people and vehicles) and the topography of the site have all contributed to the final form and massing of the new building.

The Bristol Heart Institute (BHI) is a visually stimulating and human-scale intervention behind the Bristol Royal Infirmary, landscaped into the leafy hillside facing the Kingsdown Conservation Area.

The new Heart Institute comprises inpatient; outpatient; diagnostic and surgical facilities and creates a focus of clinical accommodation for the Bristol Royal infirmary reconciling departmental adjacencies within the existing hospital whilst providing a new sense of arrival.

The design uses a common palette of materials – white render, glass and pre-patinated copper. The interlocking rectilinear forms of the main entrance and terrace canopy above in copper signify the main entrance to the BHI.

The atrium is the hub of the Institute building, providing a welcoming, clearly defined, legible route to all departments.

It is bathed in natural, controlled light and colour; enhanced by trees; artwork and animated by glazed bridges and waiting spaces within and adjacent to it, giving patients an immediate sense of calm on arrival.

The incorporation of Art is an essential part of the client requirement for this project.

A coordinated colour scheme was selected with reference to the use of suitable colours in the healing environment, and with input from staff and patients. This has created a sense of dignity and organisation.

Opportunities were created for staff, patients and carers to enjoy views and public space enhanced by the design. Artworks are incorporated into the building design, further enhancing the quality and sense of wellbeing eg Endless Ring sculpture by Walter Jack and Wave - sculptural lighting by Jo Fairfax.

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