Commissioned through an international competition, the design of this hospital is a direct response to its place, culture, and practice
The design and planning of the First People’s Hospital is in response to the practice, place and culture of Shunde District. At 2,400,000 sq ft, this hospital will be a major regional medical centre with a complex program consisting of an inpatient tower (2000 beds), acute care facility, outpatient services, Chinese medicine center, cancer center, medical research labs, infectious disease facility, 2,000 parking spaces, and staff dormitory. The project is designated as a pilot sustainable hospital in China, allowing exploration of sustainable technologies for future hospitals. The design goal is to translate advanced Western healthcare ideas to accommodate Chinese local practices, creating an innovative healing environment.
Campus organisation is divided into four major zones: Outpatient, Inpatient, Cancer Center and Administration / Support. All buildings are organised around the dynamic spine; the 'Eco-Atrium.' This naturally ventilated space houses the lobby, registration, waiting, retail areas and circulation to connect all major components of the hospital. The organisational strategy allows the buildings to be connected for ease of operational support yet separated for epidemic control.
The campus’ sustainable design strategy aims to optimise building performance as well as to sustain the mission of this outreaching facility. Situated in the outskirt of the historical city, the hospital becomes an impetus to the growth of a new town. The local climate, city planning and infrastructure are carefully analysed to create a sustainable architecture tailored to the need of this hospital and its rapidly growing community. The open campus planning maximises patient access to privacy, nature, and green spaces - all key attributes to healing.
Building orientation and massing maximises natural day-lighting and ventilation and reduces solar heat gain while capturing renewable energy. The hospital will be a hub for renewable solar energy as all south-facing façades and building roof shading structure are screened with photovoltaic panels to generate electricity that supplements more than 1500 Mwh of the hospital’s energy use annually. Thermal mass, solar screens, and geothermal energy (underground air tunnels) are used as passive means in regulating indoor temperature. The efficient site planning allows for abundant open space to anticipate future expansion.
Finally, its iconic architecture engages the local heritage and building industry / material. The use of terracotta as the campus main building exterior material continues and reinforces the City of Shunde’s manufacturing tradition as the 'Terracotta City' in China. Also known as the 'Water City', the network of water elements on campus is evocative of the city’s famed canals, which are integrally intertwined with the local residents' lifestyles.