This new build community hospital was designed in response to calls for improved Primary Care and Chronic Disease management services in South Wales.
The new building provides rehabilitation beds, numerous supporting therapy functions, as well as Women and Children's services in the form of focused and outpatient facilities. A significant Mental Health unit provides both inpatient and outpatient services.
Located North of Cardiff, the building was critical in becoming a catalyst to the social regeneration objectives of a deprived area, and for promoting community activity. Participation from the local school, with visits and talks from the team, and the community and staff's involvement in the public art project fuelled interest and regeneration in the area.
Respecting the beautiful landscape, the hospital has been integrated in to the surroundings by utilising a sensitive, curved plan designed to follow the line of the River Cynon. The stepped configuration of low-rise green roofs and pitched roofs blends the building in with the valley landscape and the building is orientated to capture views of the surround valleys, harnessing natural daylight and aiming to create a non-institutional feel for the patients. The use of public artwork and a sensitive interior design have also been key to this. The new hospital's space usage is flexible and adaptive in order to accommodate change as the model of care evolves.
Energy efficiency is central to the design of this hospital. Practical and sustainable features have been adopted, including naturally ventilated wards that fully utilise daylight, passive climate control through the building's thermal mass and a biomass hot water system which further reduces the building's carbon footprint and operating costs.