The role of Bristol as one of the British Empire’s great shipping ports is set in history, and while the ‘glory days’ of the East India Company hegemony and slavery are over, allusions to the city’s seafaring past are rife. So it’s no surprise to see architect BDP referencing the hulls of ships in the public areas of new £430m Southmead Hospital. The state-of-the-art Brunel Building opens this year with 800 beds, 24 theatres, patient gardens and even a helipad. Its main concourse atrium is fully glazed, nicely showing off the way LSA Projects clad the stair cores in Scandinavian firm Gustav’s timber panels to make a natural-looking feature. And with the en-suite bedrooms naturally ventilated too, it proves BDP’s commitment to sustainability is more than skin-deep.