Designed by Nightingale Associates, the new hospital in Llwynypia, United Kingdom, Ysbyty Cwm Rhondda provides a clinical facility for the local community, new 108-bed community hospital situated in the Rhondda Valley. Commissioned in 2004 by Cwm Taf Health Board (then Pontypridd and Rhondda NHS Trust) and funded by the Welsh Assembly, the 13,500 sq m new-build scheme became fully operational two month ago. Providing new clinical accommodation, the £23m building celebrates the reconciliation of a contemporary aesthetic with a contextual response while providing an exemplary healthcare facility for the community.
The iconic valleys terrace, with its robust use of materials and arrangement as a linear form in the landscape has been a major influence on the design. The scheme is conceived as a series of linear, sliding planes, arranged on a north-south orientation.
The clinical brief required many facilities to be provided, including inpatient wards (4 x 27 bed wards) therapies (physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech & language therapy, dietetics), outpatients (podiatry, ENT suite, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, general clinics), x-ray, ante-natal, minor accident centre, primary care centre, support facilities (pharmacy, chapel, mortuary, administration, estates, medical records, energy centre).
The scheme, which scored a NEAT ‘Excellent’ rating, incorporates the use of a biomass boiler as the hospital’s primary heat source, despite budget restraints. At the time of its design in 2004, the use of biomass boilers was especially innovative in its application in a healthcare setting. Other low-energy design initiatives include a sophisticated Building Management System (BMS), automatic lighting controls in appropriate locations and maximisation of natural daylight and ventilation.