Cork University Maternity Hospital
Reddu O'Riordan Staehli Architects
- Award Type:
Regional Award 2006
- Location: Munster
The new Maternity Hospital is located at the southern end of the Cork University Hospital campus, in what was previously a greenfield area to the front of the main Ward Building.
The building comprises three gently curving wings of accommodation, on six levels, around a central courtyard space. The curving facades of the East and West wings have been designed to maintain, as much as possible, the views to the City from the existing Ward Building accommodation, while also minimising any loss of daylight to these areas.
The finishes of the building exterior utilise quality materials, (limestone, stainless steel, high performance glazing, render) to provide sleek, uninterrupted facades, as all services have been concealed, or co-ordinated within the inner courtyard. The interior design has purposely avoided a clinical feel by using natural wood, veneers and carpet, etc., along with carefully selected colours and lighting, to create an atmosphere that is warm, light and welcoming.
At the heart of the building is a landscaped garden which is overlooked by a public concourse, a café terrace, and waiting areas at Level 1. Patient and staff accommodation on the upper floors have views to the courtyard, or outwards to the city and countryside.
Clear horizontal and vertical circulation routes in the building are punctuated by strong architectural features, in the limestone finished stair towers or the glazed walkways. These combine to simplify orientation and circulation within the building, and to achieve a facility that is rich in form and space, while fulfilling the primary functions of a Maternity Hospital.
As a major, and visually prominent, extension to the existing Cork University Hospital complex, a number of very important considerations had to be taken into account in both the design of the new building and also in it’s relationship to, and impact on, the existing buildings. The completed building has responded to these priorities in a creative and carefully considered way.
The feel of the new building responds fully to the original brief which called for a caring, non-clinical and friendly environment which also placed paramount importance on the needs of women using the unit. While women using the building are in need of medical care, the majority are not unwell and it was therefore appropriate that the building acknowledged and responded to this in it’s design and internal environment. At the same time, the hospital has to cater for all eventualities, and the provision of extensive Emergency, High-Dependency and Operating Facilities have all been carefully integrated within the internal planning to optimise working relationships between departments and patient care.
To ensure the highest possible quality of service to mothers and babies, the building has been equipped to the highest level possible, with particular focus on the neo-natal high dependency units, birthing suites, operating theatres and day services for ante-natal care. The hospital also provides for an integrated educational facility incorporating research, lecture and laboratory areas, all of which are connected to the operating theatres to provide live and audio visual links to medical consultants in the Hospital or elsewhere in the world.