The existing mortuary in SVUH was designed in the 1950s and did not meet the current infection control standards in a modern mortuary. Our commission was to enhance the existing facilities to bring them up to date and provide for the needs of a large teaching hospital. An expansion of the existing facility was the most cost effective way of expanding the service. The existing facility was retained in use for most of the construction stage which provided numerous challenges.
The added facility replaces the post-mortem service and accommodates state-of-the-art facilities for preparation, storage and post-mortem procedures. Support facilities include an isolation room, specimen store, male and female changing rooms, offices, and an observation room for medical students. The existing accommodation was then renovated to look after the compassionate side of the mortuary service including laying out of the dead and a chapel.
This is unusual to Ireland as funerals usually leave the mortuary within 24 hours of death and go to a church-requiring the provision of a chapel for relatives. The expression is an inward-looking building with few windows. External walls are monolithic, clad with granite, broken only by punched-out windows to the west and east elevations.
St.Vincents University Hospital