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Brunel Building, Southmead Hospital


Location Client Cost Completion
Bristol, UK Carillion for North Bristol NHS Trust £430m 2014 (full masterplan 2019)

Project details

The building uses a high quality stone and glass semi-randomised façade aesthetic to give a non-institutional character to the bedroom wings. Internally, the use of porcelain tiling, timber flooring, oak panels, oak doors, solid ceilings and extensive use of glazed screens creates a quality environment, infused with daylight and with connective views between spaces.

At the heart of the 800 bed hospital is a grand public concourse which simplifies access to the medical wards and departments. Formed by 3 interlinked atria the concourse is naturally lit and ventilated and provides cafes, winter gardens and artwork in an inspiring environment. Waiting areas look out onto landscaped courtyards and lead instinctively via glazed links to sub waits that provide visual contact with nature and the outside world.

Bedrooms have large areas of unobstructed glazing and are naturally ventilated, providing the patient with control of their own environment. The bedroom wings are located on the eastern side, naturally shaded from the afternoon sun by the mechanically ventilated clinical block which houses 24 state of the art operating theatres, intra-operative MRI suite, 48 critical care bedrooms, advanced imaging suites, cardiac catheter labs and endoscopy unit.

The design provides layers of flexibility to support the efficient and sustainable delivery of healthcare. The careful siting of key clinical facilities enables additional ward or technical accommodation to be added without compromising travel time or adjacencies, whilst standard rooms and soft zone concepts enable ongoing clinical flexibility over the life of the project.

People are universally praising the design and quality of the space and the building. It is truly magnificent.

Tricia Down Head of Capital Planning North Bristol NHS Trust


  • create the best acute hospital in the UK,
  • delivering a high quality hotel like experience for patients and an inspiring and supportive workplace for staff


  • our BREEAM Excellent design sits at the heart of an adaptive and integrated masterplan to deliver excellent clinical care long into the future
  • European Healthcare Design Award 2017
  • RIBA South West Award 2018 
  • RIBA South West Client of the Year for North Bristol NHS Trust 2018

Integrated services

masterplanning, architecture, interior design, graphic design, landscape architecture