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Keppie round off Orkney Islands trio with £64m hospital

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August 13 2019

Keppie round off Orkney Islands trio with £64m hospital

Keppie has followed up their education work on the Orkney Islands by bringing patient care ahead of the curve via the £64m Balfour Hospital.

Faced with an exposed location the hospital was conceived as a ‘shield’ from which to protect patients, staff and visitors from the extreme climate with a sweeping curve protecting the main entrance and inpatient accommodation from driving wind and rain.

The circular approach is inspired by the Neolithic homes unique to the islands and splits accommodation and sees two twin curved elements, each with their own distinct identity, house separate facilities all connected by a series of internal ‘streets’.

These spaces are all arranged around a single central hub for ease of wayfinding and are visually connected to a series of external landscaped courtyards to minimise institutional associations.

Keppie director David Ross said: “This has been a hugely rewarding project for our practice. It continued a close relationship developed with the island’s community during our previous projects in Kirkwall and Stromness. The enthusiasm of the client’s team infused the whole project with positivity from the outset and the success of the project owes so much to their collaborative spirit.’

The new hospital was built by Robertson with assistance from Aecom, Tuv Sud, Capita and Boston Networks.

Landscaped courtyards will help to ward off an institutional feel
Landscaped courtyards will help to ward off an institutional feel
Sinuous forms help ameliorate the vagaries of a challenging climate
Sinuous forms help ameliorate the vagaries of a challenging climate

The hospital references historic architectural forms unique to the islands
The hospital references historic architectural forms unique to the islands
While unified as a single 'town' the hospital will be visually split between stone and render elements
While unified as a single 'town' the hospital will be visually split between stone and render elements

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