Text description provided by the architects. As one of Europe’s largest and busiest children’s hospitals, Alder Hey requires feedback from hospital staff and users to inform continuous improvement and innovation. Vox Pod was commissioned by the Future Developments Team to facilitate this process by providing a space for people to record their thoughts and suggestions on video. The space needed to be mobile, moving between locations, serving multiple departments within the hospital, and forming an orientation point for key public events.
The approach was to design an adaptable and flexible object. The form is derived from a radiused and extruded equilateral triangle, divided into three equal modules. The segmentation facilitates ease of movement and allows for reconfiguration as individual elements, a connected pair, or as a completely enclosed pod. As well as fulfilling the key objectives of the brief, Vox Pod sits as a sculptural beacon within the hospital.
Located within active, open-plan areas, the pod also serves as an informal conversation space and micro-meeting room. The language of acoustic foam pyramids, commonly found within the interiors of sound booths, is inverted to become a functional, expressive, and tactile skin. This exterior provides an intriguing and distinctive texture within the hospital environment, engaging for patients and staff alike.
Internally, a birch ply lining combines with warm-coloured fabrics to create a comfortable and calming space for thought and contemplation. An oculus rooflight and porthole windows ensure natural light ingress, whilst maintaining visibility of, and connection to the wider hospital environment. Vox Pod is the first prototype, with further versions planned for 2020.