Winning Inspiration: Previous ‘Healthcare’ winners

A human-centered design approach means these winning Healthcare schemes put the patient first.

by Staff writer 01 August 2023 2022

Find out what our judges loved about these pioneering projects in the Healthcare category

A 21st century approach to retirement

Image credit: Liang Wenjun

Project: Taikang Community Shen Garden

Award: Healthcare, Gold, 2022

Location: Shenyang City, China

Architect: GN Architects

Client: Taikang Group

“Shen Garden Community Hub is very well planned and the interior forest is an intelligent design response to the harsh climate,” James Twomey, Judge.

This high-end retirement community in Northern China turns the traditional idea of an old folks home on its head. With apartments and state of the art medical and rehabilitation facilities on offer, at the heart of the scheme is a huge commercial and social building akin to an upmarket airport terminal and designed to offer light filled communal space for residents to mix and mingle during the region’s long and extreme winters. All designed to foster a love of life, whatever your age.

Design Highlights: A large, glass "forest hall" in the heart of the community centre is supported by tree-shaped columns and features underfloor heating so that people can move freely indoors during the long winter.

Design team: LI Sijia, JIN Xiaoyan, MENG Wei, SHANG Mengqi, HUANG Wei Consultants: WANG Yongwen

Where building design inspires medical breakthroughs

Image credit: Janie Airey

Project: The Pears Building, Institute of Immunity & Transplantation

Award: Healthcare, Silver, 2022

Location: London, UK

Architect: Hopkins Architects

Client: Royal Free Charity, University College London and The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

“I think that it is fascinating how one cannot distinguish that this is a healthcare facility from the exterior as it integrates very well into the built community rather than calling itself out as a hospital,” Gary Li, Judge. 

The Pears Building is a state-of-the-art facility which accommodates both research and treatment facilities in one distinctive new building. As well as space for 200 researchers and offices for the Royal Free Charity, there’s a new 35-bed Patient Hotel for outpatients.

Opportunities for spontaneous meeting and interaction are built into the building design, to facilitate interaction between departments and colleagues amongst those at the cutting edge of medical research.

Design Highlights: Lab and write-up spaces are arranged around a large central atrium which operates as the active heart of the building and incorporates break out spaces and booths for informal meeting and professional collaboration.

Laboratory Consultants: Abell Nepp Architects

Delivery Architect: BMJ Architects

Landscape Architect: BDP / Colvin & Moggridge

Concept Structural and MEP Engineer: BDP

Structural Engineer: Heyne Tillett Steel

MEP Engineer: SVM Building Services Design

Cost Consultant: AECOM

Project Manager: Buro Four

Main Contractor: Willmott Dixon


‘Hospital of the future’ focuses on patient care

Image credit: Nigel Young

Project: Pavilion, University of Pennsylvania

Award: Healthcare, Bronze, 2022

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Architect: Foster + Partners

Client: Penn Medicine

“The interiors are state of the art and the choice of materials brings warmth into the interior spaces which is critical for recovery.” Gary A. Li, Judge.

State-of-the-art Pavilion serves as a blueprint for the ‘hospital of the future’ with a building design that prioritises the patient experience. From a reassuring welcome in the lobby, through comfortable wards and uplifting communal spaces, such as the soaring cafe and surrounding gardens. Covid-19 emphasized the need to design a hospital that can adapt. Designed by the PennFIRST integrated project delivery team (PennFIRST (Foster + Partners,

HDR, engineers BR+A, and LF Driscoll, Balfour Beatty and Penn Medicine) the Pavilion’s patient care floors are designed with the flexibility to be broken down into smaller unit sizes that provide a more sensitive and personalised environment. Each floor features a family ‘living room’ and ample space is allocated for visitors to spend time and stay the night in support of their loved ones. Patient movement is minimized by allowing treatments to be delivered directly in the patient’s room whenever possible.

Design Highlights: An interactive wall integrates entertainment, room controls, communications, and medical record information to better engage patients and families with clinicians and keep them informed throughout their stay.

Contractors: L.F. Driscoll and Balfour Beatty

Structural Engineering: BR+A

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