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At Manchester Central, the main hall has been divided into 18 wards

BDP creates IKEA-style guide for Covid-19 hospitals

Dan Whelan

The firm that designed and engineered London’s Nightingale hospital and the North West equivalent at Manchester Central Convention Centre, has published a step-by-step guide to establishing emergency hospitals in the UK and worldwide. 

Sample pages from the guide can be viewed in the gallery below, and include how to install prefabricated, modular panels to create parts of buildings.

BDP’s Manchester studio designed the conversion of Manchester Central into a 633-bed temporary hospital for Covid-19 patients, working under main contractor Integrated Health Projects, a joint venture between construction firms Vinci and Sir Robert McAlpine. 

Drawing on its experience designing Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, and through collaboration with clinicians, consultants, contractors, Manchester Central and the British Army, BDP helped to deliver the scheme on a two-week deadline ready for admitting patients on Easter Monday. 

The main hall has been divided into 18 wards within the grade two-listed building. A modular panel cladding system was used to form bed-heads and service corridors. 

The existing electrical system was expanded and a large-scale gas system for providing patients with oxygen has also been installed. 

Ged Couser

Ged Couser described the project as an “incredible collaborative team effort”

Ged Couser, architect principal at BDP’s Manchester studio, said: “We worked closely with clinicians to ensure that every bed can be fitted with all the equipment required to treat Covid-19 patients.  

“The biggest challenge with the project has been responding to an evolving brief while delivering the services at the same time and all within two weeks, from the very start to the project handover.   

“The scale of the task has been absolutely unprecedented, and it has taken an incredible collaborative team effort between the client, the design team, the contractor and the British Army.” 

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Excellent read!

By R4

Superb effort by BDP et al.

By Anonymous

Fascinating, slightly worrying, but a tribute to all those whose inventiveness has made this happen and all those who will work there or be treated in it.

By Juliet

That’s a great story – well done.
But, but why wasn’t this done in 2016, 2006…….?

By ChesneyT

Congratulations to all concerned for pulling this project together you have done a great job.

By Lenny68

Nice to see such an iconic piece of architecture being used for a greater cause.
Something to add to its extensive history of uses!

By Anonymous