The Bexley Wing is the largest cancer research hospital in Europe, a facility that sets new standards of cancer care for the population of Yorkshire, which numbers 2.6 million people. Located on the St James’s University Hospital site, it provides research, teaching, and patient facilities together with a 1,300-space parking garage.
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The architectural challenge was to construct 700,000-square-feet of highly specialized hospital accommodation on a steeply sloping 130,000-square-foot site. To successfully integrate the building on the congested site, the architects addressed issues of scale, massing, and materials. The design solution is a bold 12-story building which enriches its urban context: distinct copper clad wards sit above the glazed ambulatory floors and the masonry base of the radiotherapy department. The prow of the hi-tech block is situated to the rear. The design strategy broke the massing of the building into vertical and horizontal elements, bringing daylight deep into the hospital plan and providing patient beds with distant views of the Leeds skyline.
Externally the building is supported by a generous plaza, which serves as a public area. For patients who do not wish to use the two public entrances, a discreet third entrance is adjacent to the main reception, thereby affording patients who desire privacy their dignity. Internally, the architects created a hi-tech spine and three wings of patient accommodation separated and connected by a public gallery. The gallery runs the full-length of the building and is a public space. Natural light suffuses patient rooms. Visual links with the inner city beyond the hospital’s boundaries are maximized. The courtyards provide the public gallery with terraces and views of landscape, with therapeutic gardens adjacent to the waiting areas in radiotherapy.
To realize this complex brief the architects employed innovative clinical and support groupings. These included a fully zoned clinical planning and facilities, and integrated radiotherapy, hematology, and research floors, and a family hotel. The administrative areas for both clinicians and researchers are organized into flexible open-plan office accommodation: the integration of Cancer Research UK and Yorkshire Cancer Network with the clinical areas is designed to promote translational research.
The energy efficient features incorporated into the design of the building reduce the running costs of the hospital whilst increasing its environmental credentials. Absorption chillers have been installed to capture waste steam from the hospital plant and equipment, and turn it into chilled water used in the chilled beam heating and cooling system. A heat recovery system recycles waste heat discharged from the building and feeds it through heat exchangers for re-use in the heating system.
Anshen + Allen
Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Structures & Drainage: Faber Maunsell
Mechanical & Electrical Engineering: Faber Maunsell
Landscape: Plincke Landscapes
Bovis Lend Lease
Wood doors: Leaderflush Shapland
Sliding doors: J S Atkins Ltd
Special doors (sound control, X-ray, etc.):
Shileded Powered Doors Envirotect Ltd
Acoustical ceilings: Rockfon
Suspension grid: Rockfon
Demountable partitions: British Gypsum
Paints and stains: Dulux ICI
Resilient flooring: Marley Tarkett
Office furniture:Health Trust
Fixed seating:Health Trust
Other furniture: Health Trust
Interior ambient lighting, Downlights, Task lighting, Exterior lighting, Controls: Whitecroft Ltd
Add any additional building components or special equipment that made a significant contribution to this project:MRI Faraday Cage and Doors- Wardray