The Dragon’s Heart

The story behind the opening of Dragon’s Heart at the Principality Stadium is just one example of the response by Welsh construction to the COVID19 crisis and its support for the NHS

Last week Cardiff and Vale University Health Board were able to open up the first 300 COVID-19 support beds at the Dragon’s Heart field hospital in the Principality Stadium thanks to a superb collaborative piece of construction by an integrated team led by Mott MacDonald and Archus.

Designed and made operational in under two weeks, The Dragon’s Heart hospital will help to fight the COVID-19 pandemic with space for up to 2,000 additional beds planned in total. It is the biggest and best-known example of field hospitals in Wales and hence its detail is worth showcasing here.

The first 300 operational beds are located within the hospitality spaces and corporate boxes in the existing stadium and work is continuing at pace to complete the new ward infrastructure on and around the pitch. This includes building one of Europe’s largest tented structures under the stadium’s closed roof and constructing large raised platforms over the lower stands.

Mott MacDonald is project manager, lead designer, cost consultant and employer agent for the project as part of a programme of work delivering the Dragons Heart Hospital for Cardiff and Vale University Health Board. The consultancy is leading the consortium of companies which includes Archus, responsible for healthcare planning support, ESG Global as construction coordinator and overlay design, architects BDP, and Hoare Lea as building services engineer.

Ciaran Willcocks, Mott MacDonald’s Project Director said: “This has been a tremendous effort by all involved. To make available 300 beds in just 10 days is quite amazing and we’re continuing to do our utmost to make the other beds available as soon as possible.”