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18 The Spire Manchester Hospital

The glass exteriors of the new hospital will be a striking feature and give more visibility in and out of the building

Phil Hewer is healthcare director for Halliday Meecham

Architects. He says: “Spire has introduced new designs in recent years but this is a big opportunity to look at all areas and create something that could be a useful benchmark going forward. It is a landmark development, their biggest new hospital for a number of years, so it’s a chance to push to another level.” The hospital is being constructed at a location that’s not

only adjoining one of Manchester’s arterial roads and served by trams but is also near junction 5 of the M60 and on the way to the city’s airport. Phil says: “It’s a prominent site and highly visible from major roads so this will be an iconic building as people come into the city.”

Serving the wider medical community

Unseen in any other hospital in the group is the top-floor edu- cation centre. Phil explains: “This is something new to Spire and they’re keen on that serving not only the hospital but also the wider medical community in Manchester, like GPs or pharmaceutical companies.” Facilities will include the latest in audiovisual systems that will, for example, allow people to watch operations going on two floors below. Accessed via its own separate entrance, and a lift that bypasses the rest of the hospital, the education/conference centre will offer panoramic views over Manchester. Elsewhere, careful consideration has been given to the



organisation of the hospital’s activities. Phil says: “The ground floor is designed to be the outpatients area, to serve those coming in for a consultation, physiotherapy, an MRI scan or X-ray. The first floor is the location for operating and day care, while the second floor will be home to in-patients’ bedrooms for people who stay overnight.”

Glass exteriors will be a striking feature

While the mostly concrete frame of the building (the top floor is steel) will of course be invisible, the glass exteriors will be a striking feature. Phil explains: “Glazing is one of the areas where we’re trying to do something different. We’re trying to give a lot more visibility in and out of the building and get more light into the building to create a better interior.” A groundfloor-to-topfloor central courtyard in the middle

of the building is part of that plan to bring light flooding in. It helps ensure all bedrooms have windows and most consultation rooms too. Solar shading is supplied by timber louvres, both horizontal and vertical, which, along with blinds, also help to maintain privacy. Staying with the glass, Phil adds: “One of the issues when

designing hospitals generally is that you don’t get a regular internal grid of rooms like you would do with a hotel, student accommodation or apartments. So you need some sort of glazing scheme on the outside that incorporates both blank insulated panels and glass in what might appear from

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