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BDP wins contest for Irish mega-hospital

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BDP has seen off five other teams, including a bid led by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, to win the competition to design Dublin’s €650 million New Children’s Hospital (NCH)

Working with local firm O’Connell Mahon Architects, the UK’s second-biggest practice has been chosen ahead of submissions from teams headed by RSHP, IBI Nightingale, HOK, Scott Tallon Walker Architects and Stantec to land Ireland’s largest-ever healthcare project.

No official announcement about BDP’s appointment is expected to be made until 31 July, following an extended ‘cooling off period’.

The long-awaited scheme at St James’s Hospital will bring together three existing children’s hospitals: Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin, the Children’s University Hospital Temple Street and the National Children’s Hospital at Tallaght Hospital.

The building will provide 469 single bedrooms, 14 operating theatres, play areas and external gardens, a therapy area, a school, and research and education facilities.

The project has had a protracted and difficult history and the current selection process is already months behind schedule.

Three years ago, O’Connell Mahon Architects worked with NBBJ on an earlier proposals for a 16-storey building on Eccles Street in Dublin.

That scheme was scrapped in early 2012 after it was rejected by planners, with An Taisce - the National Trust for Ireland - claiming that the project was ‘seriously over-scaled, [did] not protect the city skyline, [did] not integrate into the urban fabric, [and was] seriously damaging to the … Classical Georgian planning in the area.’

It is understood a planning application for the new scheme will be submitted in February 2015 and, if approved, construction could begin in 2016.

The scheme will be one of BDP’s biggest healthcare projects to date.

The company recently completed the £430 million PFI super-hospital at Southmead in Bristol and is currently on site in Liverpool with the £237 million Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

The Dublin victory comes seven months after the appointment of the practice’s new chief executive John McManus. The Glasgow-based architect replaced former head Peter Drummond in January.

Previous story (AJ 24.02.14)

Planning rejected for NBBJ’s €650m Irish children’s hospital

NBBJ’s ‘overscaled’ design for the huge 445-bed Childrens Hospital of Ireland has been refused planning permission by An Bord Pleanala

Proposals for the 16 storey-high building on Eccles Street in Dublin were submitted in July 2011 and featured, according to the design team, a ‘soft ethereal’ cloud-like rooftop block.

However reports published by Dublin City Council said the design for the massive €650 million building ‘failed to meet key objectives for the site, failed to satisfy the key vision, failed to incorporate the design elements proposed to mitigate the impact of the envisaged height and contravenes the objectives set out for the development of the facility in the LAP.’

‘The Irish Trust An Taisce also stated that the project was ‘seriously over scaled, [did] not protect the city skyline, [did] not integrate into the urban fabric, [and was] seriously damaging to the setting and integrity of protected structures and the classical Georgian planning in the area.’

According to RTE News around €35million has already been spent on fees and costs in preparing the planning application, adding that the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board had now been told by the country’s Health Minister to ‘prepare plans to deal with the scale and height problems as a matter of urgency’.

The international practice had originally collaborated with Murray O’Laoire and Brian O’Connell Associates for the project in Dublin - which was featured in the AJ in November 2009 - but since their liquidation in 2010, Irish practice O’Connell Mahon had been working exclusively with NBBJ on the design.

In response a spokesman for NBBJ said: ‘We are committed to the Children’s Hospital of Ireland and finding a solution that best serves the community.’

Previous story (AJ 12.11.09)

NBBJ bag huge Irish children’s hospital

London’s NBBJ Architects has been selected to design the new 400-bed, 100,000m² Children’s Hospital of Ireland in Dublin – complete with sky garden (pictured)

The practice will work alongside Dublin-based architects Murray O’Laoire and Brian O’Connell Associates on the project which also includes the design and construction of the separate 10,000m² Ambulatory & Urgent Care Centre at Tallaght.

David Lewis of NBBJ architects, said: ‘These projects offer a wonderful opportunity to advance the art and science of healthcare facilities for children.’

According to the practice, the Children’s Hospital of Ireland will be a ‘child centered facility offering world class health care, education and research’ and will combine three existing children’s hospitals.

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