Location and plans
A Children’s Hospital designed with young people in mind
The proposed design for Leeds Children’s Hospital places the human experience of child and their carer first and foremost, ensuring the immediate impression, flow through and stay in the building addresses their needs, their fears and their imagination.
We listened to what children and young people had to say about a new Leeds Children’s Hospital and they told us how important outside and play space is to our young patients. It helped to make it a key part of the design of our new hospitals.
The first impression on approach will be of a playful garden halfway up the building. Glimpses and sounds of life and activity will give a sense of this being a special place for children and young people. The island garden is central to the character of the architecture, literally elevating the importance of nature, play and the therapeutic environment. The scale is similar to houses overlooking a park – a concept which is more familiar for children and their parents. Not only does this make the hospital experience less daunting but it also helps them become better orientated.
From the main entrance, children can immediately see nature and daylight ahead of them rather than walls and doors, and the departments lead off the central hub, so they don’t have to travel long distances.
Outdoor space for wards has been provided whenever possible and the design inside and outside takes full advantage of daylight, views and visibility of accessible outdoor play with large windows and special lighting.
Our new hospital buildings will be developed on the site of the Old Nurses’ Home at Leeds General Infirmary. We have started the demolition of old buildings on the Leeds General Infirmary site including the Old Nurses’ Home building.
This building, like a number of others on the site, was extremely old and didn't meet the standards needed for modern healthcare. As part of our proposals, we will be identifying other buildings we can no longer use for modern healthcare. Some of these will make way for our new hospitals or be sympathetically redeveloped.
Some of our old buildings – like the Gilbert Scott building – are landmarks in Leeds. Even though we cannot use them for healthcare, we plan to bring them back to life, finding innovative uses for them that focus on the vision for the Innovation District.