HLM Architects has been shortlisted in the prestigious RSUA Design Awards for its work on the North Wing development at Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

The project is one of nine schemes shortlisted following a rigorous judging process by an expert panel of architects from across Ireland and Great Britain.

Designed by HLM’s Healthcare team, Altnegelvin North Wing is a major redevelopment project that was organised over a number of carefully considered phases to minimise disruption to the existing operational hospital. While it was originally due to finish in June 2020, elements of the project were brought forward to cope with the rising demand for hospital space during the pandemic. This included the ward accommodation of 72 beds, which was fast tracked and handed over three months ahead of schedule.

As design lead, HLM oversaw the design and construction of the hospital’s new main entrance as well as 144 single-bed ward accommodation spanning over three floors. Other elements of the design included a granite-clad main entrance to create a unique identity for the site, the formation of new hospital streets, which together enabled better flow throughout the building, and the creation of a green corridor that links to the main entrance and was landscaped to create an open and welcoming environment.

Nicola McKay, Belfast and Dublin Studio Director, commented: “Making the shortlist is a source of immense pride for our team. This was a complex project that required a high degree of sensitivity, but by working in close partnership with the teams involved, we were able to develop a design approach that ensured optimum functionality for healthcare workers, maximised the utilisation of space, and created an aesthetically pleasing, cohesive environment for Altnagelvin Hospital.

“We also want to take the opportunity to congratulate our fellow nominees – it’s an outstanding shortlist that highlights the level of design talent we have within Northern Ireland right now and we’re looking forward to the second round of judging.”

Ciarán Fox, Director of the Royal Society of Ulster Architects, added: “Buildings have an enormous impact out our lives and that is why it is so important we get them right. Not only for the people who are in them every day, but also for the occasional visitor, the neighbour, the passerby and very importantly, for our natural environment.

“I congratulate the architects, clients and wider teams involved in delivering these nine projects. Having assessed this year’s submissions the distinguished judging panel has concluded that each of these works of architecture have demonstrated some element of delight, invention or ambition that deserves a more thorough examination.

“The nine shortlisted buildings will no doubt enrich the lives of the communities they serve – the central tenet of all great pieces of architecture. The list includes a diverse mix of both public and private buildings from across the region, but it is particularly positive to see a number of entries being shortlisted from areas such as West Belfast and Derry.”

All projects will now be visited for a second round of judging and the winners will be announced at a ceremony on Friday 29 April 2022 in the Great Hall at Queen’s University, Belfast. Projects that win an RSUA Design Award will be in the running to win the Liam McCormick Prize – Northern Ireland’s building of the year and will be considered for a UK-wide RIBA National Award in recognition of their architectural excellence.

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