Sheppard Robson releases designs for ‘Hospital corridor in the sky’

Proposed bridge link from helipad to hospital

Designs have been unveiled for a new ‘hospital corridor in the sky’ – a link bridge joining the helipad on the top of the Grafton Street carpark with Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Suspended 12m above street level, the bridge will boost accident and emergency care in the region.

The distinctive 130m-long structure will connect the proposed helipad on the top of the recently-completed carpark to the hospital, improving access to the hospital’s facilities, which include a specialist children’s A&E unit.

Developed by Sheppard Robson in partnership with Bruntwood for Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the design’s longest span is 40m and will be clad in reflective faceted metal panels. The choice of material and varied architectural form will allow the bridge to integrate into the skyline while also being animated by the changing quality of light.

Tony O’Brien, partner at Sheppard Robson, said: “Given the project’s location – within an estate of listed buildings and ambitious new major architectural projects – it was clear that there was a drive to create something of real architectural quality.

“We wanted the design to have an iridescent, shimmering quality that had a distinctive geometric form, but also reflected and was embedded within its environment.”

The recently-completed Grafton Street carpark to which the new bridge will link – clad in a distinctive golden-coloured aluminum screen – creates an architectural focal point adjacent to Manchester’s Oxford Road.

The brief for the £13m extension to the existing carpark was to create a naturally-ventilated structure that had the solidity of the neighbouring buildings. This was achieved through the perforated anodised aluminum façade produced by Aliva UK through the creation of individual V-shaped components forming the concertina-like elevations.

With the capacity to house 500 cars, the concrete structure of the building is 14 levels high. The new carpark sits next to Sheppard Robson’s multi-award-winning Citylabs project - a new concept in high-specification, flexible office and laboratory space, providing 130,000sq ftof bespoke-built biomedical facilities. The project is a strong partnership between academics, clinicians and industry, driving innovation and investment in health science.

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