Grafton Street Helipad Manchester, UK
Suspended 18 metres above street-level lies the 130m-long link bridge and helipad. This new system enables critically ill or injured patients to be transported by helicopter directly to the city-centre hospitals from around the region. This includes transport to the Emergency Departments at Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI) and Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital (RMCH), just next to the link bridge.
Developed in partnership with Bruntwood for the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT), the link bridge runs from the helipad located on the roof of the Sheppard Robson-designed Grafton Street carpark into Manchester Royal Infirmary.
The design’s longest span reaches 40m in length and is clad in stainless steel panels. The choice of material and varied architectural form allows the bridge to integrate into the skyline and animate as the light conditions change.
The final design is a result of 13 routes that were tested during the feasibility stage of the project, with the design team negotiating a very challenging site that included:
- Working around the Grade II listed Pankhurst Centre, which ultimately shaped the design of the bridge
- Spanning a busy road at the heart of the hospital campus
- Constructing the link bridge close to a high dependency ward
- Constructing on the roof of the High Dependency Unit, which remained open throughout the construction
- Working on site continuously during the Covid-19 pandemic
- Bruntwood / Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust