A Chinese property developer has commissioned KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten International with designing a children’s hospital as part of the ‘Shanghai New Hongqiao International Medical City’. The Chinese State and the City of Shanghai will provide the funding for the development of this medical care centre. They have joined forces with the renowned Fudan University to conceive a children’s hospital that will combine top-level national and international specialist expertise. The aim is to offer a comprehensive range of medical services that will meet the rapidly growing need for modern high-quality medical care that is tailored to children in particular.
The building is structured as a three-storey podium and a two-storey block of approximately 90m long that houses the patients’ rooms (the ward block). The H-shaped base footprint of the podium consists of two side wings and a central zone. The two wings accommodate all of the medical facilities. The central zone, which connects the two units, is home to the main lobby, reception, a cafeteria and additional common functions. Located between the podium and the ward block, the administration level serves to separate the two areas visually. The two-storey ward block has a total of 100 patients’ rooms distributed over four wards.
Despite the large dimensions (90m long, approximately 64m deep in the area of the podium, and 24m high) the intention was to create an airy building with a welcoming look-and-feel, whose different functional areas could be easily deciphered from outside. The building’s clear visual anatomy works on a scale that is designed to help dispel people’s fears of the unknown and create a friendly ambiance. The basement, which corresponds to the entrance level, houses A & E, radiology, the MRT (magnetic resonance tomography) and physiotherapy areas along with a designated zone with a separate entrance for general health check-ups and vaccination services for children and adolescents.
On the first floor there are the medical specialists’ consulting rooms, laboratories and examination rooms as well as the departments of occupational therapy and psychology. The second floor houses four operating theaters, an intensive care unit (10 beds) and endoscopic examination rooms. The ward has approximately 100 beds located on the fourth and fifth floors, the majority of them in single rooms. Located on the third floor between the ward block and the podium, the administration unit has been outfitted with a conference area and a library in addition to modern offices.
The architectural design concept specifies the use of friendly, warm and natural colours. On the inside of the building the colours serve to designate important points of contact (such as information points); on the outside they form part of the façade design. Aluminium façade panels in different colours alternate with floor-to-ceiling windows, lending the two-storey ward block and the operational units in the base unit a distinctive aesthetic. By contrast, the lobby and administration section between the plinth and the ward block have been conceived as a fully glazed façade to achieve a clear distinction from the coloured areas.