A design to stimulate the local area

Working with Keppie, the hospital has been designed to put people first and make a positive contribution to the environment, local community and economy. It is predicated on 'place-making' to give the whole building a depth and level of design missing in many hospitals.

The different spaces will act like an extension of a small town where different functional activities come together.

Due to the scale, the challenge was to split a relatively large building down into separate areas or districts, with separate identities, but unified as part of the 'town' plan. An interrelated series of ‘streets’ and spaces are situated along patterns of established movement, arranged around a single central hub.

From this public space, wayfinding is easy and intuitive and the space is visually connected with external courtyards to further remove the traditional institutional associations.

The central hub space also provides reception, café, restaurant, shop and multi-faith area.

The design is a strong, contemporary building that is rooted in the culture and context of Orkney in general, but Kirkwall in particular.

“This development will match our aspirations to deliver the highest quality care and services from fit-for-purpose facilities. Travelling outside of Orkney for routine care will become a thing of the past for many.”

Cathie Cowan, NHS Orkney Chief Executive

Innovating to address the remote location

Delivering a major healthcare project in Orkney presents a unique set of challenges. To solve these, we have taken into account the remoteness of the island, supply chain logistics, local landscape, and challenging climatic conditions, as well as specific archaeological and environmental considerations.

For example, procuring and shipping construction materials to the island and storing on site well in advance of programme requirements will reduce the vulnerability of the project to extreme weather conditions.

Structural steelwork will be fabricated off-site wherever possible to enable speedy completion of the building structure. The envelope of the building is designed to take into account the available trades on the islands and to achieve an early wind and watertight position thus allowing internal trades to progress despite inclement weather.

The materials and built form of the building and surrounding landscape, will be simple, robust, easily sourced and maintained; all reflecting Orkney's heritage and ecology.

Building with and for local people

Supply chain procurement will be undertaken to maximise the use of local labour, services and materials in every aspect of the construction.

Sub-contract packages will be split into manageable sizes to suit the size of the island supply chain.

This approach will mitigate some of the problems faced on large construction projects in remote locations, both benefiting the project programme itself as well as the local community in which we will be working.

A long term relationship to maintain the hospital

The operation of the hospital and healthcare facilities have been continuously considered throughout the design process.

Our services will meet the changing needs of patients, keeps abreast of changes in technology and will adjust the delivery to provide what is required. They will comprise planned preventative maintenance, reactive maintenance and the undertaking of lifecycle replacement works as assets come to the end of their useful life.

The Hospital services will be managed by a Contract Manager who will be supported by an in-situ team of Hard FM maintenance operatives to ensure the spaces are maintained professionally and to a high quality standard.

We will also look to integrate in the community by providing of local employment, training, mentoring and work experience, supporting the community for the next 25 years.

Project team

Investment: Robertson Capital Projects, The Scottish Futures Trust,
Architect: Keppie
Principal contractor: Robertson
Structural engineer: AECOM
Building services engineer: Tuv Sud
Health planning: Capita
ICT: Boston Networks
Hard FM & lifecycle maintenance: Robertson Facilities Management



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