The £30m extension to the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield, the Hadfield Building, has opened. Designed by Sheppard Robson as part of the Kajima PFI Consortium, the extension is one of the most significant buildings that the hospital has commissioned since the 1980s and is set to influence future refurbishment and new build projects for the Trust.
Occupying a former car park, on a steeply sloping site, the 10,930m(2) new building provides six medical wards holding 168 beds with associated support facilities and administration areas. The wards are arranged on three floors in two L-shaped buildings accessed by a triple height central atrium forming a secure entrance for visitors. The L-shaped configuration creates two landscaped courtyards accessed from emergency link bridges and overlooked by the wards.
The building is designed to generate a nonclinical environment which aids recovery and improves patient experience. Each ward – a combination of single rooms and three- and four-bed rooms – has generous bed spacing and access to a window with a low sill to allow patients external view from their beds, an ‘arts for health’ initiative has been adopted with the installation of original mosaics and artwork and a way-finding system has been designed in the theme of the four seasons, using colour and motif.
The way-finding system is a series of signs, designed by ID:SR, the interior design group of Sheppard Robson. Each floor and the wards are indicated by seasonal motif, the design of which is influenced by the textile artist Lucien Day, and repeated on the glazed link bridge to the main hospital. Specific arts installations include a mosaic at ground floor by local artist Joanna Kessel, canvases, again of a seasonal theme, for the wards, and staff areas and textile work by Janet Bolton. Funding for the art was generated by the hospital, including a contribution from Kajima and the design team worked closely with the Trust to incorporate art which related to the local community, fulfilled the objectives detailed in the NHS document: The art of good health: using visual arts in healthcare’ and was affordable.
Externally warm timber cladding, and the transparency of the glazing further contributes to the overall physical environment of comfort and familiarity endowing the otherwise clinical nature of hospital design with implications of recovery and good health.