This building is the first of a new generation of ‘Low Energy Nucleus’ hospitals, the result of an energy conservation study of the Nucleus hospital system commissioned by the Department of Health in 1981.

The new building adds 200 beds to the 300 in the existing hospital. In addition to the wards the building provides a range of standard hospital facilities including operating theatres, an intensive care unit, a pathology department and laboratories, an Accident and Emergency department and full catering amenities.

The plan connects the new main entrance to the main route through the existing hospital by way of a curved circulation ‘street’. The Nucleus templates radiate from the curved form of the street. Garden courts, each based on a particular landscaping theme, are located between the templates. The energy centre is placed at the most advantageous point for service distribution and heat recovery purposes.

The outer fabric of the building is designed to produce a high insulation value, to provide a low-maintenance outer skin and reduce air infiltration to a minimum, heat recovery measures contributed towards a saving of 44% of the running cost of other similar hospitals achieved soon after occupation.

Photographs by John Donat