The new Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, Liverpool, emerges as BDP’S ‘The Liner’

Natural light, landscaping and panoramic views aid treatment of patients

The new Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, Liverpool will open on 27 June

The famous maritime city of Liverpool now has a striking new form on the city skyline, that of the curving prow of Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Liverpool, which has prompted its nickname, The Liner.

The spectacular new cancer hospital in the heart of Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter opens on 27 June and is part of a £162m investment transforming cancer care in Cheshire and Merseyside, where people are more likely to develop cancer than almost anywhere else in the country.

The 11-storey building incorporates 110 fully-single en-suite patient bedrooms and five radiotherapy Linac treatment suites.

It shares a campus with the Royal Liverpool University Hospital and the University of Liverpool medical school, which will have huge benefits for people with cancer.

The landmark 11-storey building incorporates 110 fully-single en-suite patient bedrooms and five radiotherapy Linac treatment suites

The new hospital will become the main hub in The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust’s extensive network of treatment centres across Cheshire and Merseyside, including its Wirral and Aintree sites.

Laing O’Rourke is the main contractor and AECOM provided engineering services for the construction project.

Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Liverpool is the culmination of an eight-year vision that will bring state-of-the-art facilities and pioneering treatments to a region with one of the highest rates of cancer in the country

The building design and landscaping was led by BDP’s Manchester studio, which also produced the multi-award-winning Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

As at Alder Hey, the project’s lead architect is Ged Couser, architect principal at BDP. He said: “This highly glazed building will become a beacon for cancer care in Liverpool and the wider region.

“Its modern sophisticated external skin is a clear expression of the cutting-edge research and care taking place within.

“Even in its tight urban context the internal spaces will have access to high quality external landscape, recognising the therapeutic value this brings.”

Two entrance atria allow daylight to permeate the plan, penetrating deep into the radiotherapy waiting area

The facility will deliver a wide range of highly-specialist cancer care, including pioneering chemotherapy, immunotherapy, gene therapy and radiotherapy.

The new hospital also has state-of-the-art facilities for bone marrow transplant, diagnostics and imaging, outpatients, daycase treatments, a teenage and young adult unit, clinical therapies, and a wide range of cancer information and support.

The site of the build is in a restricted urban context, but enjoys a new landscaped urban public space with car parking below.

This also allows daylight to permeate the plan, penetrating deep into the radiotherapy waiting area at semi-basement level, which is adjacent to a winter garden, giving those patients access to landscape and outside space.

The main entrance and reception facilities create an active frontage to the public realm and contain a large atrium space to bring light down to this level, creating a dramatic entrance space of civic quality.

BDP’s truly-stunning design for the new hospital rightly reflects the significance of this flagship development

And the building form gives staff, patients and visitors access to nature in an urban context.

There is a set-back cantilever over the entrance with a sunken landscape court underneath, which creates a covered winter garden lined with natural stone gabions and filled with timber planters.

The building also steps back in profile at its upper levels, creating external terrace space for wards and especially for the chemotherapy floor, with panoramic views across Liverpool, giving staff patients and visitors access to external landscaping and fresh air.

The highly-glazed building will become a beacon for cancer care in Liverpool and the wider region, an area with one of the highest cancer rates in the country

The terraces step back around the entrance atrium, one of two atria which allow daylight to permeate the plan, penetrating deep into the radiotherapy waiting area.

The elevation has a variety of transparent, translucent, opaque and graduated glazed fritted panels in a unitised cladding system, which sit on a more-substantial brick plinth at street level.

The chemotherapy department is at the penultimate level of the building, situated below the production pharmacy and drugs trials unit.

An open-plan space with views across the city to the cathedrals and the Mersey beyond, every patient has a dedicated treatment bay, separated from each other by a purpose-designed screen complete with sockets and Wi-Fi connection.

Dr Liz Bishop, chief executive of The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Liverpool is the culmination of an eight-year vision that will bring state-of-the-art facilities and pioneering treatments to a region with one of the highest rates of cancer in the country.

This highly glazed building will become a beacon for cancer care in Liverpool and the wider region

“BDP’s truly-stunning design for the new hospital rightly reflects the significance of this flagship development.”

Fiona Jones, client project director, adds: “We were impressed from the outset by the creative vision and attention to detail that BDP brought to this project.

“They really understood how to design a hospital that wasn’t just striking architecturally. It is also immensely practical and the sense of light, space and connection with nature and the outdoors creates a fantastic sense of wellbeing, which is important both for patients and for staff.”

Landscaping and views of the surrounding city were key to the design

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