Brunel Building scoops two RIBA awards

Friday, 18 May 2018

Southmead Hospital’s Brunel Building has been honoured with two RIBA awards, an internationally-recognised mark of excellence.

The building, designed by BDP architects for North Bristol NHS Trust, scooped a RIBA South West Award 2018 for its architecture and RIBA South West Client of the Year 2018.

Tricia Down, North Bristol NHS Trust’s Head of Sustainable Health and Capital Planning, who also attended the award ceremony, said: “We are very pleased to win both these excellence awards for the Brunel Building at Southmead.  We all enjoy working in the hospital and acknowledge how well it supports the patients and our visitors. We worked closely with BDP and our partners should be equally pleased with this recognition.”

RIBA said the Brunel Building at Southmead Hospital is “an outstanding response to the North Bristol NHS Trust’s brief to deliver an exceptionally sustainable healthcare facility, delivering long term environmental, social and financial benefits for patients, visitors, staff and the local community”. “This vast and highly complex building is a testament to the client’s vision and the architect’s skill in interpreting this to deliver a hospital which serves all its users so well”, RIBA added. 

This month (May 28) marks four years since the official opening of the Brunel Building. The two-week operation saw 540 patients transfer from the old Southmead and Frenchay sites into the new 800-bed hospital with staff, volunteers, ambulance service and military going that extra mile to ensure patient safety was maintained. 

Healthcare staff had input into the design of the building, which was designed with the flow of patients through the hospital in mind.

There is a central atrium running through the building, which is bright and airy with natural light from the glazed roof. Inpatient wards are on one side of the atrium while the theatres, intensive therapy rooms (ICU) and diagnostic facilities such as MRIs and CT scanners are on the other side of the building, with outpatients clinics on the ground floor. This has increased the privacy and dignity of patients as they are taken through non-public areas when being transported from wards to theatres.

Indoor and outdoor courtyard gardens and artwork were incorporated into the design to create an uplifting and healing environment for patients, visitors and staff.

The second phase of the Brunel building was completed in 2016 with the opening of the multi-storey car park which enables patients and visitors to walk directly into the main atrium area. This section, which was built using stone from the demolished old Southmead Hospital buildings, also houses offices, patient seminar rooms and a community art space.

The Brunel Building has won a number of other important awards including Best Large Hospital 2017 in the European Healthcare Awards, and a Civic Trust award for its contribution to the city and the community, whilst it has also achieved BREEAM Excellent accreditation.