Singapore's National Heart Centre uses extensive gardens as a 'carbon dioxide sponge'
The National Heart Centre Singapore is a competition winning entry by international design firm Broadway Malyan in collaboration with Ong&Ong Pte Ltd, for the first sustainable heart centre in South East Asia. Recognising the correlation between the healing properties of natural light and planting, the concept draws inspiration from the medicinal courtyard gardens of past monasteries, from whence the term hospital (from the Latin hospes) originates.
A ground floor open plaza permits social interaction and an ease of movement which is supported by a further series of semi public open skygardens that allow natural daylight, ventilation, rest and recuperation for doctors, workers and visitors alike. These external, as well as the internal, spaces are designed to optimise operational efficiency and expedite healing via the provision of natural light, ventilation and views while also providing planting that acts as a carbon dioxide sponge, noxious pollutant filter and heat island reducer.
Most visitors enter the ten-storey building via a spacious, naturally lit concourse area. This leads into a large and welcoming reception including information and quarantine zone plus retail shops and cafes, via which department reception areas and the upper levels of the hospital can be reached. The operational layout of the building is set to minimise travel distances for patients and staff. The first six floors contain facilities for a day surgery, operating theatres, clinics, laboratories, radiology and retail facilities, levels seven to ten are designated for non-patient areas including medical records, research laboratories, staff training, a library and administrative offices.
Recognising the swift advances in medical and healthcare technologies, the structure of the building is flexible and adaptable to develop both internally and externally. Whilst utilising modern methods of modularisation to facilitate and ease the speed of construction, the scheme is currently on site, with completion expected in Spring 2013.