The Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care
by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

| 5 comments

Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Square box windows provide seating areas at a hospital unit in Bath, UK, for sick and premature babies.

Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Designed by local architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, the Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care comprises the refurbishment of existing facilities and a new single-storey extension.

Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Treatment rooms are arranged around a clockwise route that begins with intensive care units and ends with recovering patient rooms.

Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

This circulating corridor is naturally lit through a series of skylights.

Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Two further corridors connect the extension to the existing building and surround a private courtyard.

Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

The unit is constructed of cross-laminated timber, which is exposed on the interior.

Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios were one the designers of the Accordia housing development, which won the RIBA Stirling Prize in 2008 - see our earlier story.

Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

See also: another healthcare building in Bath by Foster + Partners.

Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Photography is by Craig Aukland / Fotohaus.

The following information is from Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios:


New Neonatal Unit by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios opens in Bath

The Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care opened its doors on the 23rd July to its first babies. The Royal United Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), in Bath, has been transferred from its existing small, cramped facilities into its pioneering new home.

Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

The project, funded as a 50/50 partnership by NHS budgets and fundraising by The Forever Friends Appeal, has resulted in a dramatically different and improved environment in which the RUH can care for the 500 premature and sick babies that it looks after each year. A pioneering holistic and therapeutic approach towards the new building has created a new low carbon unit allowing the staff to practice new methods of care for premature and sick babies. The building consists of a single storey new‐build extension, and the refurbishment of the space occupied by the existing NICU facility. The new‐build element accommodates the clinical, support and reception functions as a discreet but contemporary intervention. The refurbished element comprises staff and parents’ facilities. The two elements are linked by a new ‘umbilicus’ which also provides an access point for emergency vehicles. The new building encloses an external courtyard space which provides both vista and breakout from reception and parents areas. The grouping of the care rooms forms a route around the staff base which is the heart of the unit.

Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

The clockwise circuit of cot rooms forms a diagram of intensity of care, beginning with intensive care, then on to high dependency, then special care, on to the parents’ rooms, then finally home. From parents’ feedback progress along this ‘route’ is very important psychologically – it is important that the ever‐decreasing intensity of care is legible to parents. The consulting examination and treatment spaces are carefully daylit. Parents and staff can now perceive changing external conditions through day and night, increasing well‐being. The heart of the clinical area is generously roof lit providing daylight to all the central spaces within. Sunlight is allowed to enter the building in certain controlled areas to add sparkle and delight without disturbing the working of the unit. Within the care areas light is carefully controlled to ensure that babies gain an awareness of day and night as they develop.

Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Sustainability in construction and use has been central to the design of the new unit. The team were adamant that the new NICU should not be a one‐off showcase for sustainability, but should serve as a template and catalyst for sustainable healthcare design by challenging existing standards, defining new targets and developing strategies replicable elsewhere in the health sector. The unit is constructed entirely in cross laminated timber. This construction has benefits in terms of embodied energy, and is quick and clean to construct within a healthcare environment. The timber is exposed internally, creating a more calm and domestic environment within an acute clinical setting.

Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
Click above for larger image

The project has achieved Breeam “Excellent”, and incorporates a sedum roof for rainwater attenuation, and to increase biodiversity on the site. These measures will combine to make the new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Royal United Hospital a beacon for sustainability across the health sector. The building is a case study for the next generation of healthcare buildings, a benchmark for best practice which incorporates replicable strategies which are demonstrated to pay back in a defined period, in a beautiful and therapeutic environment which is of tangible benefit to parents, staff and patients.

Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
Click above for larger image

Architects view by Matt Vaudin

“We hope that the building will have a real influence and improve the outcomes for vulnerable babies, their parents and the amazing staff who look after them. We are especially pleased with the calmness created by the timber interior, and the quality of daylight and sunlight, which will help lower stress levels and lift the spirits for the parents and the staff.”

Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Parent comment

The first baby to have experienced both the cramped and noisy conditions of the old NICU and the benefits of the new facilities, Joshua Heather, was transferred to the Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care at the weekend. His mother, Cheralyn, said she is thrilled to be part of this memorable day and is amazed at the light airy conditions of the new building. “It is a real transformation and it will give me the opportunity to spend more time with Joshua in such comfortable and spacious surroundings”.

Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Client comment

Making this become a reality “has been a real experience” stated Steve Boxall, Project Manager for the RUH. “This sustainable building has given us many challenges and we have worked together to find the answers. It has been a fantastic project from which we have learnt a great deal. A tremendous amount of interest has been shown by other healthcare professionals and we will enjoy sharing our experiences with them”.

Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
Click above for larger image

Consultant comment

Dr Bernie Marden, NICU Consultant, who has been involved from the beginning of this project, added “It is a dream come true. The four years planning and building it has taken has been worth every minute. Babies, however small, respond to the right environment and this could not be better. The NICU staff and I are truly delighted and can’t wait to settle into our wonderful new Centre”.

  • Anon

    I prefer Maggie's by Rogers

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=511692478 Joshua Nelson

    Fantastic involvement with light and and space. The lighting both natural and designed is done really well. Kudo's. Yet from the outside, it appears significantly more relaxing and calming than the interior photographs and finishes.

    This design could be viewed as a static solution. In Canada hospitals & medical centres are always expanding to accommodate the evolution of health care and health management. In my experience new additions do not flow very well. However the planning is genuinely idealogical and hopefully truly improves everything the designers intended; especially functionality for the staff (both current and future).

  • http://twitter.com/ClaireBarrettUK @ClaireBarrettUK

    The challenge for all healthcare buildings is how do you create a building that is genuinely welcoming

  • gork platter

    A very warm, and inviting space with all the natural light and neutral colors / natural materials. Love it!

  • imaginalarquitetura

    I’m a co-founder of an Architecture Studio in Brazil (imaginal.com.br) and last month we visited Dyson Centre with Jo Wright of FCB studios. It was a great experience! Here is our blog about our trip to Europe: http://imaginalcamp.tumblr.com/