Alder Hey Hospital Sunflower House

The £15m development includes construction of two internal courtyarded facilities. In combination they provide space for the treatment of mental health of children and young adults (5 – 20 years old). The site bring together, for the first time, CAMHS, Psychology, Paediatric Neuro-Assessment and Orthotic departments along with a Dewi Jones residential car building..

The original design, chosen through an RIBA competition, was develop by Cullinan Studio, which was chosen for its successful combination of addressing the clinical needs while providing privacy of patients in a non-institutional environment. 10 Architect carried the design forward into the construction phase with Galliford Try, who had been appointed under the Procure Partnership Framework.

Cullinan Studio’s concept design was based on a large body of evidence that’s show that a connection to nature measurably improves wellbeing and concentration, reduces stress levels, aggression and heart rate. It is why health and wellbeing aspirations formed a key part of the building’s design and choice of materials at Alder Hey. Internally the building is a timber frame, with the external elevations clad in a weathering steel. Both materials chosen for their warmth and connection to the natural environment creating a calming environment for both patients and staff alike.

Proteus supplied a secret fix hook on Proteus SR system with a 2mm corten weathering steel material. Originally provided in its natural state, the corten material will oxidse over time developing a self protecting layer that requires no regular attention or maintenance with a rich earthy red brown tone providing a complimentary back drop for the lush green planting in the surrounding landscaped areas.  The entire external façade of the two courtyard developments, including angular bay windows, are clad in the Proteus SR Corten. The well-thought-through design for the bay windows balances connection and privacy by orienteering them towards the park area. While the engineering of the corten, accounting for material loss do to the weathering process, removed the need for additional mid span support rails, reducing the environmental impact of the project.

The design of the bay windows, radiused curved building ends and the intricate feature trim profiles between wall and roof where developing in conjunction with the installation partner on the scheme, Longworth Building Services Ltd. Due to the radius of the building ends and profile of the feature trims, these elements involved developing the elements in multi parts and then welding together in pre formed jigs to allow the manufacturing accuracy required for the geometry involved.

Proteus SR is a secret fix hook rainscreen system that is available in a multitude of materials and finishes, including aluminium and stainless steel. It is tested to EN13501, achieving A1 or A2 fire rating subject to metal finish, and fully recyclable at the end of building life.

The versatility of the Proteus SR rainscreen system allows the material thickness to be specified from 1.5 mm up to 5.0 mm. At Alder Hey, a 2 mm Corten material was specified. The Proteus SR panels can be arranged vertically, horizontally or a combination of both orientations. A vertical orientation was chosen for the new Catkin Centre and Sunflower House because it accentuated the skyward nature of the natural landscape.