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Cambridge Children’s Hospital

A whole new way

With mental and physical health services alongside biomedical research facilities under one roof, this state-of-the-art hospital will be the first in the world to treat the whole child, not just their illness.

Cambridge Children’s will serve children and young people in their most formative years, so it was important to make sure that the hospital felt welcoming and empathetic. It reflects the insights and creativity that came from co-designing with children, young people, parents and carers.

Cambridge Children’s Hospital will feel very different to a typical hospital environment, offering a sense of relief and surprise. The central playground, ward gardens and terraces will contain pockets of activity spaces for patients and families to explore. Alongside playgrounds and sensory gardens, supporting biodiversity and wildlife, there will also be dedicated spaces for teenagers and young people to chill out.

Fresh air, natural daylight and a connection to the outdoors will be key, improving clinical outcomes, wellbeing and engagement with the hospital. The design will minimise barriers and maximise inclusion, bringing staff, researchers and families together.

The environmental impact of CCH has been a major consideration in the development of these plans. Cambridge Children’s Hospital aims to be an exemplar in sustainability as part of its role in providing a safer future for all. The hospital will include 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.

Using an Adaptable Design Framework, we can be sure that that the building is resilient to changing technologies and clinical requirements. Internal spaces are categorised either ‘high’ or ‘medium tech’, with the former supporting the more heavily-serviced spaces such as operating theatres, and the latter typically accommodating patient wards. Situating high-tech operating theatres on the first floor means they can connect to the existing ‘hot floor’ of The Rosie Hospital and wider Addenbrooke’s estate.

Acute hospitals are highly energy intensive buildings. We are reducing energy demand across the entire life of the hospital by employing highly efficient structural and façade systems to dramatically reducing upfront emissions, introducing courtyards and lightwells to provide fresh air and daylight to all parts of the building, and by exploring on-site renewable energy sources. With a clearly defined Net Zero Carbon pathway, combined with Passivhaus-standard design and certification in BREEAM, Cambridge Children’s aims to be one of the most sustainable hospitals in the UK.

It will serve children and young people in their most formative years, so we have a responsibility to create a welcoming and nurturing space. We valued the insights and creativity that came from co-designing with children, young people, parents and carers as well as staff across the two NHS Trusts and the University of Cambridge - who have generously supported us while working tirelessly through the pandemic.

Project details

Project name: Cambridge Children’s Hospital

Location: Cambridge, UK

Service: Sustainable design, Design for Manufacture & Assembly

Scope: Architecture, Interior design

Clients: Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, University of Cambridge

Status: Live

Lead consultant, project and cost manager: Turner & Townsend

Architect: Hawkins\Brown & White Arkitetker

Engineering and sustainability: Ramboll

Healthcare planning: MJ Medical

Planning consultants: Bidwells

Artist facilitator / illustrations: Merlin Evans

If you want to know more about our education and research work, contact Negar Mihanyar

If you want to know more about our healthcare work, contact Ewan Graham