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  • Client: NHS
  • Architect: Sheppard Robson
  • Main Contractor: Engie
  • Location: Manchester Royal Infirmary
  • Products: Euroclad SF500 Roof, Euroclad Rainspan Composite panels, NVelope support grid, FAB24 bespoke stainless steel rainscreen panels
  • Value: £1,300,000
  • Completed: February 2021


Curtis Moore are delighted to have completed the installation of composite panel walls with stainless steel rainscreen on the new £3.9m state-of-the-art high-level link bridge at Manchester Royal Infirmary, on behalf of Engie.

The ground-breaking link bridge was designed to connect a new helipad landing site, erected on the roof of an adjacent car park, to the Emergency Departments in Manchester Royal Infirmary, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Saint Mary’s Hospital and Manchester Royal Eye Hospital.

Stretching 130m in length and suspended 25m in the air, the link bridge will literally be a lifeline to enable the transfer of critically ill patients who can now be airlifted directly to any of the four hospitals. The helipad is expected to see an estimated 300 patients airlifted to the site each year.

It took almost two years to design and plan the truly bespoke triangular rainscreen panel system required to match the complex geometry outlined by the architect. The latest 3D modelling techniques were also employed to design panels to fit around a pre-cambered steelwork structure.

As with many projects of this scale and complexity, it was not without its challenges; most of the works were carried out 25m above ground level, over live hospital wards, and all during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, we were able to successfully manage activities by implementing COVID-safe measures on-site, and mitigate the impact of any manufacturing delays by working closely with our suppliers and with Engie to effectively sequence works.

George Harrison, Contracts Manager at Engie said, “Curtis Moore were knowledgeable and proactive throughout the entire design process, developing a complex architectural intent into a workable design. They worked as part of the design team, informing all parties on how best to achieve the desired result. Their ability to design a bespoke panel system and backing structure in 3D was key in making this project a reality and meet the client’s expectations.

“At site level, the quality of the stainless steel cladding installation is undeniable. The project commands a prime position over a main road through the hospital, with the bridge having become a major focal point. Curtis Moore worked collaboratively with Engie from start to finish, navigating a number of unique challenges, not to mention the impact of COVID-19, to deliver a truly one-of-a-kind solution.”

James Keery, Regional Operations Manager at Curtis Moore added, “Our involvement in this project started early in the design process, where it became apparent it would be challenging on many fronts. We spent approximately 18 months working with the architect and main contractor to design a bespoke rainscreen and support grid system to meet the complex requirements of the project.

“The installation of the stainless steel and support grid presented its own challenges, but, thanks to the expertise of our installers and the efforts of our Site Manager, we are delighted to have completed a quality installation that has exceeded all expectations.”

Watch the fantastic drone footage of the completed project here.