The project to create a state of the art private hospital within a former Victorian warehouse has been recognised as a significant achievement by the Acumen Commercial Property Awards.
The award for Best Refurbishment was presented to the Montefiore Hospital by broadcaster Simon Fanshawe at the award ceremony held on Thursday 26 April at the Grand Hotel in Brighton.
The judging panel was impressed by the impact the hospital will have on the local economy but even more so by the efforts made by the developers, Spire Healthcare and Nightingale Architects, to create a sustainable, energy efficient building while preserving its heritage. This is reflected in the Montefiore’s “very good” BREEAM rating.
Specialist Judge, Tony Mernagh, Executive Director of the Brighton and Hove Economic Partnership, commented: “To get this rating in a new build is challenging but in a building that is over a hundred years old and was never intended for anything other than storage is exceptional. The challenges they have overcome are jaw-dropping.
“It sends a strong message to other developers that difficult refurbishments can be accomplished and there is no need to compromise just because they are difficult. It would have been very easy [and much cheaper] for the developer to settle for a higher carbon footprint for this building. The fact they didn’t, coupled with a superb conversion of an old building for a thoroughly modern use, makes them the winner.”
The landmark building on the corner of Davigdor and Montefiore Road has lain empty since 2005 but a £25 million investment by Spire Healthcare is transforming it into a world class medical facility for the people of Brighton & Hove and beyond. Besides giving a new lease of life to a historic building, the Montefiore hospital will provide employment for some 150 local people and generate a welcome stream of new business to the area.
Andy Wood, the hospital director, said: “We are all genuinely delighted to receive this award. It is a real honour to have our project recognised particularly in this city where there is so much innovative development going on and is testament to the skills of our architect, Richard Ager of Nightingale Associates, who has done the almost impossible task of creating a modern, efficient, fit for purpose hospital out of structure that was built in a time when electric lights were considered to be cutting edge technology.
“The refurbishment is progressing well and we are looking forward to opening the doors in the autumn.”
The awards were set up by Oliver Asha, head of commercial property, at Acumen to celebrate the achievements of the industry in Brighton & Hove. He said: “These awards shine a light on the forward thinking, sustainable, innovative, exciting work that has recently been completed and highlights developments that could and should happen in the future.
“All the schemes that reached the finals deserve recognition – collectively they will create over a thousand jobs, pump many millions of pounds into our economy, improve the overall quality and sustainability of commercial buildings and improve the perception of our city.”