Teenage Cancer Trust, Cardiff

ORMS, Cardiff, 2009


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ORMS cancer treatment unit in Cardiff 

James Brittain     Download Original

  • ORMS cancer treatment unit in Cardiff    
  • The unit is squeezed into a footprint of just 15 x 19m on the University Hospital of Wales site just outside Cardiff    
  • The unit at night    
  • The blue mesh cladding that gives the unit a bold external presence    
  • A fire escape route for the hospital runs between the W-shaped frames that support the building    
  • Slender columns alleviate the unit, ensuring the site remains flexible for future development    
  • A patient    
  • The interior detailing is well-considered, curtains reach all the way along runners on the soffit rather than a suspended rail    
  • The den on the first floor joins the building    
  • The second floor lounge with views across the hospital site    
  • Large sliding doors open onto a balcony off the lounge    
  • The semi-enclosed     
  • Site plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Second floor plan    
  • Section A-A    
  • East elevation    
  • Sketch of     
  • Section detail    
  • Detail of wall covering    
  • Detail of typical bedroom    
  • Detailed plan    
  • Detail of typical bedroom    

The cancer unit provides accommodation for eight adolescent cancer inpatients, with additional treatment and day care services and includes a large social zone with a private rooftop terrace

The ward is elevated two storeys above ground on stilts for operational reasons. It also represents the Teenage Cancer Trust's aspirations to bridge the gap between adult and paediatric oncology and to be a world leader in the quality of its wards.

The free-standing unit is propped 6.5m above the ground on 16 individual raking steel columns, which form four W-shaped frames and hit the ground at locations defined by the service chamber at basement level, a fire escape route that runs across the site, and existing drainage runs.

The building's blue metal mesh cladding gives the building a bold external presence despite only having a footprint of 15 x 19m. The mesh runs from belly to balcony, punctuated at first-floor level by a long, horizontal window; a protective clasp encasing the two-storey unit.


  • Begun: Apr 2007
  • Completed: 2009
  • Floor area: 585m2
  • Sector: Healthcare
  • Total cost: £2.4M
  • Tender date: Mar 2006
  • Procurement: JCT 98 WCD
  • Address: University Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff, CF14 4XW, United Kingdom

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