the City

The new Royal Liverpool University Hospital, soon to be the largest medical facility in the UK, will transform care in Northern England.

The design for the new Royal Liverpool University Hospital cohesively ties together an inspirational landmark building with complex clinical and technical criteria for a world-class facility. This replacement acute hospital will reconnect, engage with and enhance its immediate local and extended city context.

The 94,000-square-metre hospital will replace the existing 1970s facility on the same site in central Liverpool and will include 650 single ensuite bedrooms, including 40 critical care beds and 81 emergency assessment beds. There will be 19 operating theatres (including robotic and hybrid theatres), making it Liverpool’s main accident and emergency centre capable of dealing with major trauma. The main acute services include cardiology, respiratory care and general surgery together with regional and national specialist services in renal dialysis, endoscopy, ophthalmology, haematology and vascular surgery.

The design provides a healing, non-institutional environment that enhances the patient, visitor and staff experience. The building layout maximises daylight, views, landscaped external areas and healthcare service delivery efficiency. Stimulating views are provided from the building into the large internal gardens and out to the new central 'Green Heart' and neighboring area.

The design creates a public space at the centre of the site and the new building positioned to the southeast forms a landmark urban gateway. A four-storey drop across the site is used to configure the public space as a series of terraces — each with a different character — that define the various entrances to the hospital. The public spaces and the building itself connect back to the context of Liverpool through the choice of materials, reflecting the use of Portland stone on public buildings throughout the city. When completed, the new hospital will ‘heal’ a once impermeable site in the city’s centre, providing new connections to adjacent neighbourhoods, Everton Park, the University and Knowledge Quarter.

Circulation Diagram

A single hub of public circulation at the centre of the building includes lifts and a spine linking the north and south entrances to blocks of clinical space clustered around the hub at each level. This enables extremely short travel distances from the entrances to a central hub and through the use of glazing leads to simple “line of sight” way finding to all clinical destinations.

Clinical staff and facilities management circulation are located at the outer extremities, separating their flows from the central circulation core to ensure minimal crossover between patients/visitors, clinical staff and facilities management.


The building design maximises natural daylight, minimises energy operating costs and endorses the appropriate use of the latest technologies for sustainable construction and operating the hospital. The scheme scored an ‘Excellent’ Rating under the BREEAM Healthcare 2011 scheme.

Awards and Publications


Architects for Health Design Award, Future Project
Building Better Healthcare Award, Highly Commended, Best Design Category


Building, “Carillion's £335m Liverpool hospital wins planning,” 19 September 2013