Planning approval has been secured for a first-class hospital for Jersey which will serve its healthcare needs for decades to come. Sited at Overdale, St Helier, it is Jersey’s largest public infrastructure project in a generation, and it will offer state-of-the-art learning facilities.
It has been a huge team effort to get to this point, with LDA Design leading the development of a welcoming, healing and biodiverse landscape. LDA Design worked in partnership with BSG Ecology and Nurture Ecology, a Jersey-based consultancy. The hospital is targeted for completion in 2026, with works getting underway in winter 2022/23. Llewelyn Davies are lead architects, and we are also working closely with Arup and Temple Planning. The overall client is ROK-FCC.
Landscape is recognised as central to how patients, visitors and staff will experience the hospital. “Our approach was to start with patient care, and how we can promote wellbeing and recovery,” explains Neil Mattinson, a director at LDA Design and project lead for Overdale.
“Ever since Roger Ulrich first described how connections with nature – the view through the window – can speed up recovery times, the evidence keeps growing. The landscape enveloping a hospital should be as carefully designed as the buildings themselves.”
On a hill and surrounded by woodland, the landscape design for the new hospital celebrates the great views across St Helier, and features generous gardens and spaces that are comforting, well-connected to the interior, and restorative. Guiding principles include connectivity and bringing people together; accessibility; creating a sense of security and control; easy wayfinding and legibility and a relatable, human scale.
Diversity in the landscape is critical. As Neil explains: “Patients of different ages and with different conditions have different needs and the landscape must provide for that, from quiet spaces for reflection to areas where families can gather to spend time with loved ones, to routes that encourage gentle exercise. The hospital’s landscape has to be made to work hard to support the healing process.”
Careful thought has also been given to the views out from within the hospital, so that patients, visitors and staff can easily connect with nature, including through verdant internal courtyards on either side of the central corridor.
The building design maximises natural light and ventilation wherever possible, minimising carbon emissions. Recycling rainwater, introducing planting that filters wastewater, supporting solar and wind energy and making space for therapeutic food growing on site are all important features.
Over 860 trees will be planted, and biodiversity net gain of 37% over the lifetime of the project is above the current baseline value of the site. An integrated arts and culture strategy will also be included.
The green light for Overdale follows a week-long Public Inquiry, which LDA Design attended as Expert Witness. The public will continue to be consulted on materials and lighting as the project develops.