A new Cambridge Children’s Hospital has taken another step forward with the submission of a planning application to Cambridge City Council for the early designs.
The submission of the formal ‘reserved matters’ planning application builds on the existing outline planning permission, granted previously. The early designs and floorplans were shared with the Council’s planning committee in August.
With an estimated 36,000 m2 total footprint , including 5,000 m2 of research space, the drawings submitted give an early indication of how the hospital might look when it opens in 2025. The plans also include details of possible future development for it beyond this.
To be built on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, the hospital will be the region’s first dedicated children’s hospital, caring for children and young people from Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, and Cambridgeshire. Embedding genomic and psychological research alongside clinical expertise in physical and mental child health, Cambridge Children’s Hospital will be ‘a brand new, state-of-the-art hospital designed to take care of the whole child, not just their illness’. It will also ‘share ground-breaking research to benefit as many young people as possible’.
Meanwhile, work continues on developing the Outline Business Case for HM Treasury approval, and on the fundraising campaign announced earlier this year. An international design team, comprising experts from Turner & Townsend, Hawkins\Brown, White Arkitekter, Ramboll, and MJ Medical, with support from planning consultants, Bidwells, and fire consultants, Alfor, has been engaging with staff from across the partner organisations about how the hospital should work. Members of Cambridge Children’s Network – made up of children, young people, parents, and carers from across the region, have also been instrumental in helping shape how it might look and feel.
The project team, and client Trust, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH), said: “The hospital’s form is designed to encourage play and bring in light. Outdoor courtyards at all levels will give children opportunities to interact, learn, empathise, and heal. Distributing these spaces throughout the building will bring natural light and air into the depth of the plan, creating visual connections across wards, while dramatically reducing the building’s operational lighting requirements.”
Cambridge Children’s Hospital is designed with Passivhaus principals, and will meet BREAAM ‘Excellent’ as a minimum. The hospital will aim to be an exemplar in sustainability, and will incorporate as many outdoors spaces as possible – including gardens, courtyards, and terraces, to provide access to nature and spaces for play and relaxation that support biodiversity and wildlife. The main hospital building will be enclosed within a wide landscaped green perimeter.
Clinton Green, director at Turner & Townsend, and Design Team project director, said: “Reaching this major milestone is a great achievement, and testament to the collective efforts and innovative approach from all involved. The design team has worked in close collaboration with the client, but also with young people, their families, and staff, to ensure that the design provides a welcoming and healing space for those who work or visit. We are looking forward to continuing this partnership approach as the Outline Business Case is concluded and the project moves into the next phase of development.”
Building work is due to start in 2023, and Cambridge Children’s Hospital is due to open in 2025. The hospital will sit opposite the Rosie Maternity Hospital on Robinson’s Way.
Cristiana Caira, Healthcare Design lead architect at White Arkitekter, said: “Redefining the boundaries between mental and physical health is already being discussed in the UK and Scandinavia, but this project turns the page in the history of hospital planning – integrating children’s physical and mental health alongside the University of Cambridge’s world-leading research. The design of the whole building will be psychologically informed, founded in the knowledge that architecture contributes to healing and patient wellbeing.”