The Rock Wing, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital

The Rock Wing, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital

Delivering rooms for an additional 5000 patients annually, the Rock Wing at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital addressed the immediate need for single-bed occupancy rooms during the COVID-19 emergency. Catering for highly infectious patients, it reduced pressure on public hospital services, the spread of the virus, and the impact on critical services within the Hospital and wider community. The new facility provides 98 single-occupancy rooms with the capacity to expand to 112 beds without the need for major reconfiguration, and was delivered at rapid pace, on time and on budget. Speaking at the opening of the Rock Wing in April 2023, then-Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said, “The new Rock Wing will strengthen the Mater’s position as a centre of healthcare excellence in Ireland and enhance the care provided to patients from all over Ireland.’’

 

Client
Mater Misericordiae University Hospital

Area
GIA: 13,500m2

Status
Completed

 
 

Client  Mater Misericordiae University Hospital

Location  Eccles Street, Dublin 7, Ireland

Status  Completed

Area  GIA: 13,500m2

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A Space for Healing – Now and into the Future

Our first relationship is with our physical environment meaning our bodies have immediate responses to the space we are experiencing. The project’s success lies in the ability to modulate this environment ensuring integrity, inclusiveness, and equality for all ranges of ability. Our approach stemmed from workshops with the clinical team, demonstrating that design goes beyond spatial organisation, balancing the varying needs of diverse users. We designed based on needs rather than assumptions allowing the user to foster a safe relationship with the space.

Design Excellence and Innovation

The design navigates the intricacies of an inner-city site, the complexity of a live hospital, new entrance and streetscape in a prominent conservation area while providing a seamless link over eight floors to the existing buildings, all delivered amid the pandemic under the constraints of a two-year programme.

In addressing Eccles Street, the building form steps down and is set back to create a landscaped entrance plaza, reducing its impact on the adjoining Georgian terraces. This proposal sets up the adjacent site so that once developed, a new linear park is created along its edge. The materiality adopts the tone of the existing hospital with the concrete creating a balanced synergy with the less textured finish of the Georgian terraces.

DfMA (Design for Manufacturing & Assembly) and MMC (Modern Methods of Construction) techniques were essential to meeting the programme with all interiors laid out on a module consistent with the main hospital, allowing for seamless adaption and future flexibility. By incorporating these techniques early, together with our proficiency in Building Information Modelling (BIM), we minimised construction waste, improved the overall cost and quality of the project with an estimated saving of €40 million to the taxpayer.

Collaborative and Community-Focused

The unprecedented timeline for a project of such magnitude underscores the innovative and efficient approach applied throughout its development. The key to this achievement lay in assembling the right team and fostering a collaborative approach from the start. By uniting diverse expertise and instilling a shared commitment to delivering excellence, the project not only met but exceeded expectations, not only for the client but also contributing significantly to the enhancement of the community.

Performing for People and the Planet

A fabric first approach was adopted, reducing both demand and operational energy. Maximising the building fabric, we utilised passive and active measures with renewable CHP technologies, creating an energy-efficient building on a brown field site. These solutions aligned with the 'National Climate Change Policy,' and DCC's Sustainable Energy Action Plan.

Smart lighting control systems combined with the natural ventilation strategy reduced energy, cooling and ventilation demands, ducting, primary plant and equipment, decreasing the embodied carbon impact. We optimised room layout and sizes, designing out waste by utilising off-site prefabrication externally & internally. Per EPD guidance we selected lower GWP products. Thermal modelling optimised the façade to suit year-round operation, targeting natural daylight factors within 2-5% ADF, ventilation, and solar benefits using CIBSE TM52 comfort criteria specific to the building. A 60-year life cycle approach to ISO 15686 encompassed maintenance costs, running costs, and replacement costs.