HLM shortlisted for the National Eisteddfod of Wales’ Gold Medal for Architecture

Cardiff-based HLM, the architect for Ysbyty Cwm Cynon Hospital in Cynon Valley, South Wales, has been shortlisted for the National Eisteddfod of Wales’ Gold Medal for Architecture. The Gold Medal is awarded to architects responsible for buildings completed between 2010 and 2013 and recommended to the Eisteddfod as being of greatest merit. HLM won the medal in 2012.

The £70million Ysbyty Cwm Cynon Hospital provides local primary care support for the residents of the Cynon Valley and local communities. The 18,500 sq m, two-storey building occupies 6.5 hectares (16.1 acres) and features 128 rehabilitation and intermediate care beds, children’s services, a large supporting therapies unit, outpatient clinics, community dental services and a mental health unit for community out-patient and elderly in-patient care.

The hospital’s layout is flexible wherever possible to accommodate change as the model of care evolves. Its design uses spatial quality, colour, comfort levels, materials and public artwork to create a “non-institutional” feel and enhance the psychological well-being of patients and staff. This is further boosted by harnessing natural daylight and the surrounding natural landscape.

The scheme is integrated into the landscape, with green roofs and green spaces lowering its impact. It is orientated to capture views of the surrounding valleys, while the landscape design promotes biodiversity. Courtyards for staff and patients compliment the healing environment provided internally, which is formulated around the use of simple circulation, colour and light.

Energy efficiency is central to the design of the new hospital. Practical and sustainable features have been adopted, including naturally ventilated wards that make the most of daylight and passive climate control through the building’s thermal mass, via exposed soffits in the wards. A biomass hot water system is among the features that further reduce the facility’s carbon footprint as well as operating costs.

Jonathan Jones, associate director at HLM, said:

“It is fantastic to be shortlisted for the second year in a row following our win last year with Archbishop McGrath Catholic High School.

“Cynon Valley Hospital ensures that the best care can be delivered to the residents of Rhondda Cynon Taf, to the highest modern standards. The hospital has enhanced the standard of living for the people of South Wales by sparking regeneration, making this a truly transformational project.”

The winner of the Gold Medal for Architecture which will be announced at the National Eisteddfod of Wales, held at Denbigh on August 3.

The Design Commission for Wales supports the Gold Medal for Architecture in partnership with the National Eisteddfod of Wales, along with the Plaque of Merit and the Architecture Scholarship, which are awarded in association with the Royal Society of Architects in Wales.

The Commission, which champions good architecture, urban and landscape design, backs the Medal because it is unique to Wales and draws attention to the importance of architecture in the nation’s culture, honouring architects achieving the highest design standards.