Alder Hey Children’s Hospital has won a RIBA National Award, one of 46 projects to be given the accolade, and one of only three healthcare projects.
“If we’ve seen it before, it’s not for us” was the challenge set in 2010 by Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust, which called for a unique paediatric environment that, together with adjacent Springfield Park, would form an integrated Children’s Health Park. Its hilly, undulating profile has made the new building instantly recognisable, even from a distance: a striking identity that stands in deliberate contrast to the typical idea of a hospital and the institutional nature of the existing Alder Hey which it replaces.
The judges’ citation reads: The client and architect have created something special here. This is more than just a complete contrast to the previous Alder Hey building (which still lurks next door as an institutional reminder of how most of us think of hospitals), it offers a new model for the design of children’s healthcare facilities far and wide. A hugely complex brief and a short delivery timescale were handled superbly well by the design team, with an obviously tenacious and astute client team driving forward at every step.”
Architect director Ged Couser said: “To receive an RIBA National Award is a great honour. The end user client had incredibly high aspirations for the project from the outset, and we have set a new benchmark in healthcare design, creating a hospital in its parkland setting like no other. This award is in direct recognition of that achievement.”