The development of the new National Maternity Hospital at Saint Vincent’s University Hospital campus comprises the relocation of the existing maternity services from Holles Street to a new 50,000m2 building comprising a new 244 no. bed maternity hospital along with new campus wide shared support services and an extension to the existing multi–storey car park.
The co–location of the National Maternity Hospital on the SVUH campus is a priority government project to support and improve maternity services nationally and the new hospital will support the delivery of 10,000 babies annually. The new maternity hospital will represent state–of–the–art clinical functionality, providing the highest quality spaces for women, babies, families and staff within an efficient, safe and therapeutic environment.
The design of the new building emphasises the hospital’s status as a national maternity hospital – a civic building which contributes to its urban and campus context at SVUH. The overall form and shape of the building is also a considered design response to the requirement to maintain the identity of the National Maternity Hospital on the SVUH campus. The overall approach has been to create two separate blocks; one follows the massing and building line of the adjacent SVUH Clinical Services Building, the other runs perpendicular to this on a north to south axis. The space between the two blocks provides the entrance, central atrium and landscaped courtyards. These key spaces provide a space for relaxation, play and a key orientation point as you move through the building.
The complex brief has been laid out through a series of shallow plan building forms which maximise the possibility of natural light and ventilation to the majority of areas, particularly the inpatient bedrooms which allow direct visual connection to the external environment as well as to the landscaped internal courtyards and gardens. The incorporation of a number of gardens; courtyards and accessible high level terraces within the layout is designed to enrich the experience of patients and staff within the hospital.
While the project is very much integrated into the SVUH campus the design has embedded proposals for the enhancement of the public realm on the campus as a key design driver and includes new proposals for an enhanced pedestrian and cycle route from the Merrion Road and a new pedestrian forecourt, the public “heart” of the campus, located in the area directly outside the main entrance to both the Maternity Hospital and the exiting SVUH entrance.