Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Capita Symonds Reveals Designs for New Infirmary 'Welcome Centre'

Capita Symonds, acting on behalf of University Hospitals Bristol NHS Trust, has unveiled designs for a new £4.95m ‘Welcome Centre’ at the Bristol Royal Infirmary.

The centre – one of the most innovative of its kind in the UK – comprises the redevelopment of the Infirmary’s reception and waiting area to provide approximately 530 sq m of modern space for retailers including a coffee shop, newsagents, food outlet, clothing / gift shop and pharmacy.

Due to be completed by the end of the year, it will also provide an improved, glass-fronted entry point to the hospital for patients and visitors with improved way-finding and information resources.

The second level’s internal layout will be adapted for the large open plan spaces that the building requires including core hospital facilities, retail and ancillary functions and services. The extension of the second level floor plate will provide an open spatial continuum interconnected to the main circulation route to provide further accommodation for retail outlets.

Welcoming, spacious and easy to maintain, the Welcome Centre design will radically improve the ability to manage the main entrance efficiently and positively improve the patient, staff and visitor experience to the Bristol Royal Infirmary site.

The elevations of the building will be made from a palette of materials that will create a building that is a positive addition to the built environment. The appearance of the proposed new building is to be expressed through a combination of colour, scale, and materiality. Further to this, the appearance of the building is enhanced by carefully considered and located signage. In this sense the design has been conceived of as having a clear identity, and an architectural language that will suit the location and purpose of the building in an appropriate way.

The Welcome Centre’s financial model, which has been developed by Capita Symonds, is funded through the income derived from the retail operations to ensure that the full benefits of the scheme are retained by the Trust and the community.

Andy Headdon, strategic programme director for University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, said: "The scheme provides a new main entrance at level two on Upper Maudlin Street which will be easily identifiable instead of people searching for it as they do now. The intention is to increase the footprint of level two building out to the pavement to enhance trust services, provide a new reception and information centre and a range of retail outlets, leading through to the new lift core for the new building. We are looking to enhance patient and visitor experiences and make it easier to find your way around. We are trying to establish something much more welcoming, more light and airy."

The centre has just received planning permission from Bristol City Council. Work is expected to start on site this summer


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