Cullinan Studio-designed scheme links two buildings around a central garden


The two buildings are raised above the car park and entrance point to protect the privacy of arriving patients

Cullinan Studio has completed a £20m specialist mental health facility at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool.

The Catkin Centre and Sunflower House, built by Galliford Try, consists of two linked buildings which bring together health facilities previously scattered across the city.

The scheme’s 4,445sq m of internal floor area is oriented around a central garden area surrounded by clusters of consulting rooms, bedrooms and day spaces.

Cloistered corridors running around the edge of the garden are intended to create a feeling of openness, daylight and fresh air, and an environment for patients which is warm, welcoming and connected to nature, Cullinan Studio said.

The buildings are raised over the car park and pedestrian access point to allow people to arrive without being overlooked, while bay windows are oriented towards the park to protect the privacy of vulnerable patients.

External walls clad in weathering steel panels give way to a timber entrance lobby designed to create a feeling of warmth and nature.


The timber entrance lobby

The Catkin Centre will provide a new home for outpatient services including ASD, ADHD, development paediatrics, eating disorders and crisis care. It houses various quiet rooms, consulting rooms, therapy rooms, offices, meeting spaces and an art and music room.

Sunflower House provides a home for young people with complex and enduring mental health conditions, comprising a 12-bed inpatient unit for children aged 5 to 13 with the most challenging conditions. It is one of only six inpatient units for this age group in the UK.

The scheme’s project team included QS Gleeds, structural engineer Buro Happold, delivery architect 10Architect, landscape architect and Turkington Martin.

The wider £237m Alder Hey hospital was designed by BDP and completed by Laing O’Rourke in 2015.