Broadford Hospital, Skye

Gold Award


ARCHITECTURE: Health Building or Project


Oberlanders Architects
Rural Design Architects


NHS Highland, hub North Scotland


As the first health facility built in this community for over fifty-four years, the new Broadford Hospital (‘the Hospital’) was designed to BREEAM’s excellence standards, a holistic approach to development. It demanded focus on building sustainably, giving equal weighting to staff and patients as stakeholders, travel plans, positive social and economic impact, building for longevity and operational energy performance and maintenance. The result is a building fit for the entire community, “the facility has transformed healthcare in this rural community and offers world class healthcare closer to home”, NHS Highland. The Hospital combines previous services from Dr Mackinnon and Portree Hospitals in the north of Skye, into one purpose-built community hospital. As part of NHS Highland’s wider redesign of health and social care services, the project enhances the ambition to provide more accessible and community-based healthcare in the remote and rural areas and an increase in virtual assessment (inspired by Scottish Government’s 2020 vision for Health). The Hospital serves an indigenous population of approximately 14,300 that can swell during the summer to exceed 30,000 when tourism peaks. Services include: • 24-bed inpatient ward; • Emergency Department and out of hours service; • Imaging departments: x-ray and ultrasound; • Day-case services, including the Macmillan Funded Infusion Suite; • Renal dialysis service (incorporated post-contract); • Community maternity unit (‘CMU’); • Outpatient treatment spaces including physiotherapy, gym and two consulting rooms; • and Scottish Ambulance Service base (co-location). Located next to the Broadford Medical Centre, the new Hospital’s design embraces its stunning location on the shore of Broadford Bay, looking towards the Skye bridge. Delivering to the core design principle of an improved patient experience, the building orientates to a position which maximises exposure to the calm inducing views of the surrounding bay for patients, staff and visitors. The in-patient bedrooms, elevated to the upper floor, are exposed to the views across Broadford Bay on one side and views to the Cuillins on the other. A robust structure ensures critical protection from the location’s harsh weather conditions, through a wrapped zinc protective façade. All plant and machinery is housed internally enabling all weather maintenance and potential weaknesses from service penetrations points in the roof have been removed. The collaboration between Oberlanders Architects and Rural Design Architects on this project was a natural fit given the synergy of the two practices in their healthcare specialism, local knowledge and experience of delivering award winning architecture in challenging highland landscapes.


Niall Hastie, Niall Hastie Photography