A building inspired by the drawings of a Chester teenager has won a top national design award.

The new Alder Hey Children’s Hospital building, influenced by a flower drawing created by cardiac patient Ellie Brogan when she was 15, has been declared the winner of the 2016 Civic Voice Design Awards at a Parliamentary event today (May 24).

The hospital, which treats children from all over the north west including Chester and Ellesmere Port, opened on October 1, 2015. The project won the New Build category first and was eventually chosen as the overall winner of the awards.

A citation from judges read: “Alder Hey listened carefully to children and thousands of families who took part in one of the NHS’s biggest-ever public consultations. Many suggestions, such as better access to fresh air and nature, influenced the plans, and it was a drawing by 15-year-old Eleanor Brogan that impressed the architects and inspired their final design.”

Related story: Chester woman's teen drawing inspires design of new Alder Hey Children's Hospital

Ellie, now 22, was receiving treatment at the Liverpool hospital when patients where invited to submit their visions of what the recently opened £250m state-of-the-art facility should look like.

Former patient Eleanor Brogan with her inspirational drawing of a flower
Former patient Eleanor Brogan with her inspirational drawing of a flower

Speaking at the time of the opening of the new hospital, which took two years to build and contains 270 beds and 16 operating theatres across five storeys, Ellie described her pride.

She said: “I’m so proud that something I did as a teenager has turned into a real life, working hospital.

“I will always be so grateful to Alder Hey, such an amazing place with very special staff.”

Ellie has maintained her involvement with the hospital for the past eight years and sits on the Young People’s Design Team to help ensure that it is designed from a patient’s point of view.


The Civic Voice Design Awards give communities the opportunity to nominate and recognise new buildings, restoration and public realm projects in their local area.

They were introduced in 2013 following a vote by Civic Voice members to demonstrate that civic societies and other community groups will accept new development when it responds positively to the local area.

Chairman of the judging panel Max Farrell said: “The design of the building or scheme is just one part of the story. What matters just as much is how it was developed. These winners each reflect many of the aims and ambitions of Civic Voice - a commitment to placemaking through a collaborative approach pulling the public, private and voluntary sector together.

“The Civic Voice Design Awards are showing that communities do not just want to stand at the side and complain, they want to get involved and shape the places they live in.”

He added: “People are not just asking for more and better designed buildings, they are demanding them. The best developers realise this and will succeed when they realise participation not consultation is the way forward.

“What we need in England is positive planning and I call on communities, developers, MPs and others in the sector to learn the lessons from this year’s Civic Voice Design Awards”.

The 2016 award winners:

New Build Category

• Alder Hey Hospital, Liverpool (Overall Winner and Category Winner)

• Soho Multi-level Playground, London (Highly Commended)

• St Valentine’s Close, Winchester (Highly Commended)

Public Realm Category

• The Holywells Park Project, Ipswich (Category Winner)

• Eyesore to Artwork, Derbyshire (Highly Commended)

• Road of Remembrance War Poppies, Folkestone, Kent (Judges’ Special Mention)

Restoration Category

• The Master’s House, Ledbury (Category Winner)

• Briddlesford Lodge Farm Hop Kilns (Highly Commended)

• The Old Grammar School, Coventry (Highly Commended)

• Yarmouth Station, Isle of Wight (Highly Commended)

• Scenic Railway, Dreamland, Margate (Judges’ Special Mention)