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Cardiff Principality Stadium becomes Dragon’s Heart Hospital in fight against COVID-19

BDP is helping to convert the Principality Stadium into the Dragon’s Heart Hospital to treat COVID-19 patients in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. It is to become a temporary emergency hospital with the potential to provide 2,000 beds with an initial 300 beds being delivered so far. The hospital officially opened today (Monday 20 April), with the Prince of Wales giving a speech via video on the stadium screens.

The stadium is different from the other emergency NHS Hospitals that have been located in conference centres designed specifically for large-scale turnaround events. The conversion of the stadium involves new tent structures, repurposing the hospitality suites and using concourse space for wards due to their good line of sight for patient care.

Our design and engineering teams are working with Mott MacDonald, the Welsh Rugby Union and Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, which is enabling the decision-making process to be accelerated and streamlined allowing design and construction to take place in parallel.

Architect associate Nick Durham, whose team is working closely with consultants, specialists and contractors from other organisations, describes it as: “A high pressure, fast-paced environment where everyone is working collaboratively to deliver this vital facility."

Principal Nick Fairham added "Delivering emergency hospital facilities in stadiums and exhibition centres is unprecedented, so we have been drawing on our previous experience of designing large-scale healthcare facilities like Grange University Hospital in Wales which is to open a year earlier than scheduled to help tackle the coronavirus pandemic."