New hospital in Singapore utilises nature as a tool to aid healing
KTPH, a 550 bed acute care hospital offers a comprehensive range of medical and health services. As the first public hospital to open in Singapore in the last 10 years, KTPH is built to serve more than 700,000 residents living in the North. Since November 2010, the hospital has seen an average bed occupancy rate of 80 per cent. The opportunity created by the brief and the site next to Yishun Pond was to pursue a design in which nature would nurture – where patient recovery would be faster and general well being enhanced.
One would expect hospitals to look clinical like an immaculate box, hygienically white inside and out. KTPH subverts the stereotype while bolstering its therapeutic goals. The hospital appears natural and almost resort-like with a crisply turned-out mien. Aluminium fins, trellises, screens and light-shelves enclose and screen exterior walls where daylight, natural ventilation and landscape are brought into its precincts through courtyards, roof gardens and glazed walls.
The 'hospital in a garden, garden in a hospital' concept has influenced every aspect of the hospital planning. The facilities at KTPH were designed to overlook a central garden courtyard that serves as a wayfinding device and brings light and greenery into the basement. The massing of the hospital opens out towards the adjacent Yishun Pond, drawing nature into the hospital. Every opportunity is maximised for the creation of therapeutic green spaces. KTPH has landscape footprints at every floor to ensure patients and staff is constantly treated to garden views from different angles, and to provide for a calming surrounding that soothes and rejuvenates.
KTPH went beyond its brief and transformed the physical propositions for a place conventionally where people only went, and associated with sickness and in duress, not in health. The hospital was conceived with the overarching agenda to provide a welcoming and inclusive premise for the community.