How does an architect address the challenge of designing a large hospital that still feels human and accessible? The new hospital feels rooted – grown out of the rolling hills of Enniskillen’s landscape.
The lower floors of the entrance blocks are clad in local Donegal shale and the top floors consist of timber and glass. Unlike most hospitals with deep floor plans, the building mass has been broken down and thinned by designing a group of four smaller blocks connected by glass links. These smaller blocks are further connected by a linear garden, a full length circulation spine that organises the building. Intensive clinical services including the emergency department, operating suites, imaging, and labs are in front. Designated centres for women and children and outpatient services are on the ground floor with single-patient bedrooms above – a first in Ireland.
South West Acute Hospital also serves as a real boon to Enniskillen – sustaining opportunities for new jobs, small business start-ups and social interaction while providing higher quality healthcare – activities that serve to strengthen the fabric and health of the community.