Former Foster partner hopes to extend fledgling practice into public sector with Forth Valley scheme

Architect Ken Shuttleworth is to branch out into the public sector by designing a PFI hospital.

Shuttleworth’s firm Make is part of a Skanska consortium bidding for the £250m Forth Valley scheme, one of the biggest public sector schemes out to tender in Britain.

The other team in the running for the job is led by Laing O’Rourke, which has signed up Keppie Design, a Scottish PFI specialist. Keppie has extensive experience in the field, having designed the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

A source close to the Skanska team said the selection of Shuttleworth reflected a desire to break the mould in hospital design.

The source said: “Ken’s not known for hospitals, but that’s why we chose him. We believe hospitals are very formulaic and we’d like to put some flair into them. The designs are not necessarily going to be radical, but he’ll start with a fresh angle.”

Make will work with a specialist healthcare planner in Scotland. This will give advice on the technical aspects of hospital design.

The tender for the bid requires the work to be carried out on the Royal Scottish National Hospital site at Larbert midway between Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Ken’s not known for hospitals. That’s why we chose him

Source close to Skanska

When the hospital is finished, facilities presently located at the Stirling Royal Infirmary, the Royal Scottish National Hospital and the Falkirk & District Royal Infirmary could be moved there.

The PFI partner will be required to provide facilities management services and there will also be the opportunity to bid for further support services, including elements of cleaning, catering, domestic, portering and accommodation.

There may also be an opportunity to bid for the development of listed buildings on the site. Potential future uses may include ancillary hospital facilities, business, community or residential use.

Make Architects has also been appointed to draw up designs for a £3.5m judo centre in Dartford, Kent. Dartford council will be unveiling the plans this month.

n Keppie Design has been lobbying the Scottish executive to change the bidding process for big PFI projects.

The architect is concerned at the expense of bidding for large PFIs projects, where costs can run into millions. The executive is being asked to consider whether a Northern Irish-style PFI model might be adopted, whereby an exemplar design is established by the client before bids are invited.