Design for children's hospital is 'breathtaking'
Designers behind the new national children's hospital were aiming to "capture the imagination" of its young patients with its seven-storey-high oval creation.
The new-look facility was unveiled at a meeting between Health Minister Leo Varadkar, the hospital board and an advisory group of young people.
The hospital, to be built in the campus of St James's Hospital, in Dublin, has yet to get planning permission.
An application is to be made in June in the hope of opening its doors in 2019.
Mr Varadkar said: "This breathtaking design does its job really well.
"It's clear from the open-plan building, the gardens, the sports facilities, and the state-of-the-art wards that this is a unique building.
"I'm delighted that the Youth Advisory Council were the first people to review the design. The proposed design, which incorporates the two satellite hospitals planned for Tallaght and Blanchardstown, delivers on the ambition to build one of the finest children's hospitals which will positively impact the lives of children on the island for generations."
It will be no more than seven storeys high with parts of the building at four storeys. Its features will include an oval shape with therapeutic gardens on the roof and surrounding the hospital.
The facility will have 42 beds in a critical care unit, 18 neonatal critical care units and 380 single, in-patient rooms.
Key features will include:
- Therapeutic benefits of the outdoors, which will also offer opportunities for learning, play and distraction.
- A multi-level, day-lit concourse connects the main entrance with the hospital's other principal public entrance from the Luas, a two-minute walk away.
Jonathan Irwin, chief executive of the Jack & Jill Children's Foundation, said it had no difficulties with the design of the hospital but still felt it was a "flawed" location that was "way too small" with insufficient room for expansion.
"Forget about the therapeutic garden, where is the maternity hospital in all these design plans?" he said, as he urged the minister to reconsider the location.