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Humanising Hospitals- River House Children's Hospital

Part 2 Project 2015
Jamie Brown
University of Nottingham, UK
A Hospital is the site of some of our best and worst experiences, the site of death and birth, healing and loss. Of all public buildings, they should be the ones that are built with the greatest care and imagination. Fear of the unknown, intimidating equipment and forced intimacy with strangers are all challenging for children in the foreign environment of a hospital. River House Children’s Hospital is a new children’s hospital integrated back into the urban fabric of Belfast. Through disaggregating the hospital into 3 distinct areas the hospital has be discretely placed within the existing urban fabric around a central therapeutic garden space building upon and nurturing the existing qualities of place. Healing people and places go hand in hand. One size does indeed not fit all. Using perhaps one of the most familiar of places, River House Hospital evokes a domestic embrace responding to the human scale and touch with softened material qualities, atmospheres and spatial composition, breaking away from the landscapes of logical functionalism found in traditional hospitals. The repurposing of Bank Square means that a more local and specific approach to health is available whilst still giving something back to the future city of Belfast.
Jamie Brown

Prof Michael Stacey
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