Bristol Royal Infirmary to receive makeover
ONE of the ugliest buildings in Bristol is due to receive a much-needed makeover.
A host of world-renowned artists and architects have been drafted to work on designs to overhaul the Bristol Royal Infirmary's (BRI) tired façade and finally give it a fresh look.
Since the end of last year the six designers, Daniel Buren, Antoni Malinowski, Luke Jerram and Arup, Nieto Sobejano, SO-IL and Tham and Videgard have been hatching concepts to improve the appearance of the hospital's Queen’s Building.
Their designs will be sifted down to a maximum of three by a panel of representatives from University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UH Bristol) and members Bristol’s arts community in July.
Robert Woolley, chief executive of UH Bristol, which runs the BRI, said: "We have long recognised that the appearance of BRI is not one that reflects the quality of care we give, and the redevelopment project presents the opportunity to create a more positive first impression whether people are coming to the hospital or travelling through Bristol.
He added: "I am really excited to have got international designers of this calibre giving us their ideas for changing the look of the BRI. I hope members of the public and our staff will tell us what they think of the different designs.
"We are looking for innovative designs for a hospital frontage that is welcoming for patients and visitors, reflects the excellent care that is delivered inside and which Bristolians can truly be proud of."
The refurbishment of the Queen’s Building facade forms part of a wider refurbishment programme currently underway across the BRI and which includes the creation of a new ward block, helipad and welcome centre. The construction work is due to be completed in 2014.
As part of the revamp scheme, the BRI Queen’s building will undergo structural work and all its windows will be replaced.
The three selected artists and architects will work in collaboration with CODA Architects, the lead designers for the redevelopment.
Craig Bennett, of CODA Architects, said: "The challenge for the appointed artist or architect will be to explore how the existing design could be taken to the next level aesthetically, while meeting all the technical, environmental and maintenance considerations. It is a really exciting project."