Designed with a patient-first approach, the extension of Ireland’s National Rehabilitation Hospital enhances the treatment experience for patients requiring complex care, while enabling staff to deliver integrated therapy services in an innovative environment. Located on the existing National Rehabilitation Hospital campus in Dublin, the new 120-bed support unit is Ireland’s first purpose-built rehabilitation facility. The design concept is one in which patient wards are formed around a series of courtyards bringing landscaping, views, natural light and ventilation into all of the patient spaces whilst supporting patient movement and circulation in a safe and secure environment in the building.
The design accommodates all existing patients at the NRH in new single rooms, located predominantly along the outer perimeter of the building, with shared support therapies located in the central courtyard zones, creating a central social hub for patients and supporting the process of relearning of daily routines of work and live while in the hospital’s care. Mitchell + Associates was appointed to provide landscape architectural consultancy. Ensuring that the hospital is fully accessible for patients and their families was a key design consideration – particularly challenging given the topography of the site.
The inclusive design approach focused on making the hospital completely accessible for reduced mobility users, using the site contours to achieve level access at ground and lower ground levels. The extension is linked to the existing building, ensuring full integration between the new development and the existing hospital. The design of the extension puts patients first, focused on delivering comfortable, private quarters within a healing environment, incorporating views of landscaped courtyards and gardens and providing access to critical facilities including a gym. All patient spaces were designed with a focus on landscaping, views, natural light and ventilation. Private rooms and patient wards are located around landscaped courtyards.