Tobermore Aid Macfarlane’s Concept Design at £30m QEII Hospital

The stunning new Queen Elizabeth II (QEII) Hospital in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, opened its doors to the public in June 2015. London based landscape architecture practice, Macfarlane & Associates, was provided with the task of designing an attractive landscape for the £30 million facility which was designed by Penoyre & Prasad and the construction was managed by Balfour Beatty. Tobermore was on hand with a block paving solution for Macfarlane & Associates that would enhance the aesthetics of the new hospital and provide sustainability.

Macfarlane & Associates explained their role on the project: The main objective was to create a useable public space which envelopes and supports the new hospital building. The intention was to create a seamless link between the building and the external environment, which in turn could create a positive visual relationship between the hospital and the surrounding townscape.”

The sourcing of suitable hard landscaping materials was a hugely important task in meeting the schemes objectives.  Macfarlane & Associates commented: The project needed a neutral palette of materials which would complement the building. Another key factor in specifying the hard landscape was the need for the chosen materials to be durable and have longevity once installed. Paving was an appropriate choice as it is both durable and cost-effective.”

The Tobermore South East Sales team presented Macfarlane & Associates with a variety of paving options that could complement the project. Founding Principal at Macfarlane & Associates, Glen Macfarlane, noted that the contemporary granite aggregate finish of Sienna block paving and Mayfair Flags was perfect for the modern QEII building.

Glen explained more on the landscape architects decision to specify Tobermore products: “Sienna and Mayfair Flags were both reliable and cost effective. We knew the products would work on front of the QEII building to create a visible attractive entrance to the hospital, as well as simultaneously being a hard-wearing material capable of withstanding a large amount of footfall and occasional vehicular overrun.”

The Tobermore products also suited Marfarlane & Associates concept design for the grounds.The courtyard is the heart of the scheme, creating a space for users to escape to away from the building. The central courtyard becomes an outdoor waiting room, providing a quiet place for users. The paving forges a relationship between the building and the outside, transitioning movement through to the external space.

“The hard landscape creates a dynamic environment, enhancing positive views. The soft landscape elements provide softening and greening to the building facades, improving key views in and out of the hospital, aiding in creating a therapeutic space for users.”

Macfarlane & Associates commented on the completed project: The final scheme follows the principles envisaged in the concept design – the courtyard is the central heart of the hospital, successfully occupied by both the public and staff members, and the surrounding landscape is also successful as it creates an attractive public plaza space and seating area.

“The most successful aspect is the legibility of the scheme, and this was achieved through the right selection of materials, including the paving supplied by Tobermore. The landscape plays a supporting role to the architecture, creating a backdrop, as well as a neutral user friendly space.

“We would happily recommend Tobermore products for their durability and cost-effectiveness. The variety and choice within the block paving range is infallible. The products used on this scheme worked as a family, making the specification process simple and less time consuming which is also a great aspect of working with Tobermore.”

Macfarlane & Associates additionally praised the service provided by the Tobermore South East Sales force: “Working with the team is a great experience, as you are knowledgably guided through the product range from specification to installation.”

Now in full operation, the QEII hospital benefits the local district immensely with the latest technologies and treatment facilities available. The hospital offers an Urgent Care Centre which is open 24 hours a day, general outpatient services, a purpose-built area for children’s outpatient services, diagnostic tests, day treatments procedures, GP out of hour’s services, physiotherapy and rehabilitation units, as well as cancer and ante-natal care services.