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Penoyre & Prasad unveils new ‘local’ hospital

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Penoyre & Prasad has released these photogrpahs of its recently completed 8,541m² local NHS hospital in Welwyn Garden City


The building replaces the city’s existing district general hospital built in the 1950s, and is one of the first in ‘a new generation of hospitals’ aimed at providing community-based healthcare.

The site operates 24 hours a day but there are no inpatients and no beds for overnight stays instead the focus is on diagnostics, treatment and therapies.

Designed around a landscape courtyard, the hospital is small in scale and has been planned to be easy to understand and navigate around.

The scheme’s plan comprises of three L-shapes that interconnect to create the central courtyard and gardens. Each L houses up to two hospital departments and where each joins the stair and lift core is located.

The building’s main waiting areas are located next to the central courtyard while wide corridors on each side open out onto the treatment rooms.

Clad in timber and hand-glazed tiles, the building features a timber colonnaded entrance which opens onto a triple-height foyer space.

QEII Hospital, Welwyn Garden City by Penoyre & Prasad

QEII Hospital, Welwyn Garden City by Penoyre & Prasad

Architect’s view

Careful consideration has been given to the scale and form of the new hospital. The pitched form of the roof responds to the garden city context. The two storey wings respect the existing domestic scale of neighbouring properties, but the building rises to four storeys under a gently sloping monopitch roof, clad in zinc coated aluminium standing seam roofing. As the building rises up, the colonnades cut under the solidity of the tiled elevations, revealing the timber lined walls and soffit of these protected walkways. 

In keeping with the new building’s focus on art and a garden environment, the opening windows on the first, second and third floor windows are protected by laser-cut metal screens featuring a delicate locally influenced ‘tracery’ by artist Charlotte Mann, instead of the usual security bars.

QEII Hospital, Welwyn Garden City by Penoyre & Prasad

QEII Hospital, Welwyn Garden City by Penoyre & Prasad

Project data

Location Welwyn Garden City
Type of project hospital
Contractor client Balfour Beatty Construction Services
NHS clients East and North Hertfordshire CCG, East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust
Architect Penoyre & Prasad
Landscape architect Macfarlane & Associates
Structural engineer AECOM (previously URS)
M&E consultant Building Services Design Corby Office
Quantity surveyor Tropus & Spicer
Main contractor Balfour Beatty Construction Services
M&E contractor T Clarke - Midlands
Facades contractor M Clarke
Tender date January 2010
Start on site date April 2013
Completion date April 2015
Opened July 2015
Gross internal floor area 8,541m²
Form of contract and/or procurement Design & Build

QEII Hospital, Welwyn Garden City by Penoyre & Prasad

QEII Hospital, Welwyn Garden City by Penoyre & Prasad

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