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20 June 2016

BRI unveils new facade

Work on the façade of the Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI), once voted one of the ugliest buildings in Bristol, has been completed, creating a sleek, modern and energy-efficient exterior for the hospital in the centre of Bristol. .

Robert Woolley, Chief Executive of University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, said: "The work on the exterior of the BRI was done as part of our £92 million redevelopment of the hospital to provide an environment that matches the quality of care we give. The façade and welcome centre at the entrance to the hospital provide a welcoming entrance for patients, visitors and staff."


Jane Willis, director at Willis Newson, said: "The entrance to a hospital is so important. A good first impression will welcome and reassure patients and visitors, which in turn will reduce stress and anxiety and ensure a better experience. We were privileged to support the Trust to consider a range of innovative and creative solutions from world leading artists and architects to create a new and more welcoming facade which truly represents the quality of care and professionalism delivered by UH Bristol staff."

The design, named 'Veil', by Spanish architects Nieto Sobejano, was one of six submissions put forward in an international competition run by UH Bristol in 2012/3. It was selected as the winner following a public vote and recommendation from the panel overseeing the competition, which included representatives of Bristol's creative and architectural design community, supported by art consultancy Willis Newson.

Rob Gregory, Architecture Centre programme manager and selection panellist for UH Bristol, said: "Bristol was privileged to have six extremely talented artists and architects pitch for this unique design challenge. Three years later, we now have a wonderful new façade. This is not only testament to the vision and ambition of UH Bristol, but also to the successful collaboration between the project's design leaders from Madrid, and the local team from CODA architects who have done so much for the hospital over the last ten years or more."

Spanning the same length as a football pitch, the steel structure features 185 fitted LED lights and 393 replaced windows, adding natural ventilation into the hospital when open. In addition, the over-cladding will extend the life of the building, substantially reduce heating energy consumption and, carbon emissions and make the inside more comfortable for patients. 

Andy Headdon, strategic development programme director for UH Bristol, said: "We are proud to unveil our latest refurbishment project as part of a major redevelopment at the Trust. We believe the revitalised look of the hospital successfully reflects our vision and Trust mission to provide exceptional care, teaching and research every day.

"Construction work has taken 13 months to complete and we would like to thank our patients, visitors and staff for cooperating with any disruptions this may have caused them."