A3 Architects's new hospital in South Africa due for construction in 2011
The new 200 bed, 10 theatre hospital with 30 private consulting suites and support facilities and infrastructure befitting of a specialist facility of this nature is due for commencement of construction mid 2011.The client is a private consortium of doctors and specialists that have identified the need for an additional facility within a rapidly expanding high density urban node.
The land acquisition and licensing process has been four years in the making, and is now complete. The 50,000 sq m site is centrally located in Boksburg, Gauteng, near the O R Tambo international airport, enjoying good access from all the major arterial routes.
The building was conceived as a vertically stacked solution over a maximum of 5 floors, with bed accommodation in the northern wing, and the high intensity services in the southern wing.The two wings flank a five storey naturally lit and naturally ventilated atrium space, which will act as the focus of public activity, and will ensure simple and immediate orientation of all users.
The central atrium has been conceived as the hub of the building, with the main reception, pharmacy, retail coffee shop and Client services flanking on the ground floor. Circulation is via a public core at the connection between the two wings on the atrium side, and behind the core is a private "service" core for separate patient and service access thus avoiding any cross over of patients, services or public.
The building is approximately 24,000 sq m in extent including consulting and the planning has been carefully considered to ensure that there is minimal cross flow of services and public / patients.The hospital also enjoys a 360 degree orientation and as such all service elements are neatly tucked away within the covered footprint to ensure that there is no messy 'service end'.
Internally, accommodation is in a combination of two and one bed rooms, clustered into 28 bed wards, with the two bed room enjoying full 'off' suite ablution facilities across the passage to optimise privacy of patients, and ensure optimum nursing visibility and access in the event of assistance requirements.
The building is designed as a user friendly centre of excellence for the area and makes use of clean solid robust architectural lines and element of appropriate scale, consciously not employing over dramatic and intimidating massing or scale, keeping textures forms and surfaces tactile and user friendly.
The building employs environmentally friendly elements such as sun shading, performance glazing, heat recovery for hot water generation and a host of other considerations in line with sound modern Architectural principals to reduce energy consumption.
Efficient medical service delivery is achieved via a complex web of intertwined physical and human elements and relationships. A3 Architects are of the opinion that the building will be noteworthy due to the fact that it is a cost effective, relevant, efficient and environmentally and end user friendly solution, to what is becoming an increasingly competitive market within a very cost sensitive business.
A3 Architects claim that the hospital desginers: "...have the tendency to 'overplay' the solution, creating monuments to medicine and often ignoring the fact that more often than not, the 'kiss' (keep it simple!) principle works best for everyone." They hope that this solution, once built, will take the edge off the inevitable 'grudge purchase' and 'terror' associated with Hospital visits, and rather result in a comfortable, connected and human interactio with the built form contributing to the interactive process of human engagement, rather than overwhelming the user.