Perkins+Will designs an 'oasis of healing' for children in the harsh deserts of Saudi Arabia
Providing advanced pediatric care and treatment, the Jeddah Children’s Hospital is designed to calm, comfort and offer nurturing, safe healing environments for children and their families. At 99,000 GSM, the ten-storey 350-bed patient tower sits atop its Diagnostic & Treatment podium along the primary route to Mecca.
From a single ‘block’ of stone, the hospital reveals gardens and oases when carved. The surrounding roughened concrete envelope allows for a highly secured pediatric healthcare facility, while maintaining architectural cohesion with the surrounding rocky hillsides. Upon entering the site from the north, the children’s Garden of Play is located adjacent to and immediately accessible from the main lobby.
Spherical structures for a variety of age groups provide intimate and safe play areas. Visually connected through the main lobby the Oasis Patio centrally located in the D&T platform serves as a contemplative and quiet area of respite. Daylight from this and other garden courts is driven deep into the building and also provides softened views to protected green spaces.
While large diameter fans circulate air, an overhead aluminum veil controls glare and softens the intensity of the direct sunlight. Interactive videowalls from the ground floor through the patient tower visually connect the hospital vertically. Patient rooms are same-handed with mullionless corner windows positioned to offer maximum visibility from the patient bed. A serrated glass and metal facade emerges and offers a counterpoint to the heavily textured precast concrete.
Additionally, while the form of the podium responds to the surrounding roadways and site constraints, the tower is rotated to better orientate itself with maximum northern and southern exposures.