SOM integrate nature into their design to create a new method of care
The proposed design for the Jurong General Hospital reconsiders the paradigm of a bed tower on a diagnostic and treatment platform and blurs the boundaries between building and nature. The integration of program components, the interaction between interior and exterior, and the sense of community and humanism all speak to a higher level of care and a greater sense of respect and understanding between hospital and patient. The innovative vision for treatment and healing is tailored to the institutional mission of the National Health Group (NHG), whose priorities include flexibility, integrated care, and holistic healing.
The site of the new hospital, located in Singapore's Jurong Lake District, is mixed-use and includes retail, commercial, and residential components. A public road intersects the site, dividing it into two discrete parcels. The new hospital complex will include a 700-bed regional hospital and a 200-bed community hospital. The facility will also include outpatient clinics, diagnostic imaging, an emergency department, and extensive facilities for staff.
As directed by the NHG, the design sets aside preconceived notions of hospitals and clinical facilities and creates an environment that will facilitate new methods of care. At the heart of this solution is an integration of nature. The design conceives of the Hospital and its Garden as being inextricably linked to one another, speaking to the balance of science and nature in a healthy life as well as to a commitment to sustainable building design. The site and landscape strategy positions the healing environment as being both a hospital in a garden and a garden in a hospital.
The hospital design has two major architectural elements: a diagnostic and treatment platform with gardens on top of it, and a linear tower for impatient wards and outpatient clinics that rises above the platform. These elements optimize open space and views, improve circulation, and simplify patient and visitor access. The placement of the gardens above street level allows the gardens to be removed from the sight and sound of surrounding traffic, offering a more serene and peaceful quality for all.
The design team took advantage of Singapore's prevailing climactic conditions to assure that the project responds to climate-specific sustainability standards. With a LEED Platinum/Green Mark Platinum Rating, the Jurong General Hospital project thoughtfully integrates architecture with interior design, and electrical, mechanical and structural engineering, and takes into consideration the long-term environmental, economic, and social dimensions of sustainability.