The Alder Centre

Liverpool. 2018

  • Project Details
  • Completion: 2018
  • Clients: Alder Hey Children's Hospital Foundation

The Alder Centre was established in 1989 by a small group of health care professionals in partnership with bereaved parents who identified a gap in the services available. The Centre is unique within the NHS and internationally; providing bereavement counselling for families who have had a child pass away as well as a national telephone helpline and general counselling for hospital staff. A series of rooms configured like a big house, set inside a secret garden can be a familiar place for parents to meet, talk, grow things and have a cup of tea. The architecture is easy to use and simple to understand, informed by a conversational process with the counsellors, users and bereaved parents. The building is arranged with a large communal space in the centre that is ‘the heart’ with a lounge and kitchen from which seven counselling rooms unfold, each with their own private garden. There is a flexible training room, office and dedicated room for the ‘Child Deathline’ where volunteers answer phone calls from parents to a national helpline. The simple layout of the building is analysed with sophisticated environmental modelling software and includes sustainable technologies. Windows and skylights are sized so that diffuse light illuminates counselling rooms; temperatures are controlled by ground source heating which uses the earth’s core to temper spaces; and opening vents in the walls and at the top of pitched roofs drive natural ventilation to give each of the rooms plenty of fresh air. Healthy materials like brick walls and exposed timber ceilings further add to well-being.

Awards

WAF Award for Health (Future Project) 2018 WAFX Award for Ageing and Health 2018

Celebrating the Alder Centre

12/09/2019

Celebrating the Alder Centre

AHMM’s Alder Centre team attended a celebration for the project in Liverpool this week, where Director Paul Monaghan presented a flythrough animation illustrating the design. The event, held at the Alder Hey Childrens’ Hospital, was attended by hospital staff and volunteers as well as families who depend on the service. Dame Jo Williams, Chair of Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, welcomed the new Charity Chair Graham Morris OBE and Antoinette Sandbach MP, who was instrumental in securing funding for the project, spoke of her personal experiences using the Centre.

 



 

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2019

21/05/2019

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2019

Two of AHMM’s models have been selected for this year’s Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. The models of the Alder Centre for Child Bereavement and the BRE Open Innovation Hub will be exhibited in the architecture room, this year curated by Spencer de Grey with a focus on sustainability. Now in its 251st year, the Summer Exhibition is the world’s largest open submission art show exhibiting around 1200 works in all media. The exhibition runs from 10 June to 12 August.

 



 

AHMM at the World Architecture Festival 2018

03/12/2018

AHMM at the World Architecture Festival 2018

AHMM projects won three awards at the World Architecture Festival last week: Weston Street won the Small-Scale Housing (Completed Project) award, and the Alder Centre won the Health (Future Project) award and the WAFX Ageing and Health category award. White Collar Factory, University of Amsterdam, Television Centre, Blossom Street and Signal Townhouses were also shortlisted and presented at the Festival, which took place from 28-30 November in Amsterdam. Find out more about this year’s award winners here.

 



 

The Alder Centre wins WAFX category prize

01/10/2018

The Alder Centre wins WAFX category prize

The Alder Centre has been announced as one of ten category winners of WAFX Prizes, special awards given by the World Architecture Festival that aim to recognise projects entered for the WAF Awards that address key ecological and societal changes. The Alder Centre won the WAFX Ageing and Health category and will now be considered for the overall WAFX Prize, which will be announced at the World Architecture Festival held in Amsterdam from 28-30 November; the project has also been shortlisted for a WAF Award along with Weston Street, Signal Townhouses, Television Centre, White Collar Factory, University of Amsterdam, and Blossom Street.
 



 

The Alder Centre Cycle Classic

13/06/2018

The Alder Centre Cycle Classic

This July, more than 30 AHMM staff, members of the Alder Centre project team, and friends of the practice are taking part in the Alder Centre Cycle Classic, a 360km charity ride from London to Liverpool over two days. The group of cyclists will leave from AHMM’s London office on the morning of Thursday 5 July and be welcomed at the NHS Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool the following afternoon. This challenging ride will raise much needed funds for the Alder Centre, a new building at Alder Hey that will provide counselling and support for anyone affected by the death of a child. To enhance the building, the team wants to go the extra mile to ensure that the interiors and surrounding natural environment are also the best quality they can be. While funds for the building itself are in place, funding for these additional elements will have to be raised to create a calm and tranquil place surrounded by a beautiful garden space. You can find out more and support our fundraising here.
 



 

Planning granted for the Alder Centre

23/02/2018

Planning granted for the Alder Centre

The Alder Centre in Liverpool has been granted planning approval by Liverpool City Council. The new bereavement counselling centre for Alder Hey children’s hospital will provide a dedicated home for counselling and support services for people affected by the death of a child, including facilities for the hospital’s nationwide child bereavement helpline. The Alder Centre is designed as a series of rooms configured around a heart space, each with large windows looking across a ‘Secret Garden’ or smaller secluded garden spaces according to spatial and privacy needs. AHMM is also supporting fundraising for the fit-out of the building, including through next week’s Cycle to MIPIM.
 



 

04/08/2017

AHMM to design new Alder Centre for Bereavement Counselling

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris has been announced as the winner of the RIBA competition to design a new bereavement counselling centre for Alder Hey children’s hospital in Liverpool. The new centre, located on the main hospital campus, will provide a new home for Alder Hey’s counselling and support services for people affected by the death of a child. Inspired by the idea of a secret garden, AHMM’s design for the centre is made up of a cluster of outdoor spaces and pavilions, each one with varying pitched roofs, windows and views in response to differing requirements of function, privacy and openness.
 




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