Suzhou Children's Hospital / HKS

Suzhou Children's Hospital / HKS
Courtesy of HKS

International architecture practice HKS shared with us their proposal for the Suzhou Children’s Hospital Competition in China. The program includes a 94,800 sqm children’s hospital with 600 beds in the initial phase including over 7,000 sqm for outpatient clinics, 14 OR’s, a full service emergency department, imaging, and required support.

Other major program elements include a teaching/research and administration facility, staff housing, a separate infectious disease facility, and initial parking for 800 cars. You can see more images and architect’s description after the break.

Kites have always delighted children for centuries. It is believed that kites originated in China over 2800 years ago. Their bright colors and shapes soaring through the sky bring wonder and joy to children of all ages. Suzhou Childrens Hospital has its own very large kite that soars over the garden and play areas. This kite provides cover and protection from the sun and rain, adding color and delight to the children and their families.

Courtesy of HKS

The water garden at Suzhou Childrens Hospital recalls a long tradition of the water gardens in Suzhou, known for their beauty and tranquility. The water features also provide a visual connection to the canals of Suzhou, the Venice of the East. The project abuts canals on the south and east sides.

The architecture of the hospital reinforces this tie to the fluidity of the water in the gardens and canals, and the fluidity of a kite soaring. The curves are visually appealing, like waves of water or currents of air. Bands of color will be interspersed on the building’s façade to further designate the hospital as a place for children and their families.

Courtesy of HKS

The existing Suzhou Children’s hospital is located in a building that is 80 years old with little improvement since its original construction. This new replacement hospital has been designed with all the latest concepts in pediatric healthcare delivery. The design’s imagery puts at ease the stress and fears of patients and their parents. Spaces are designed with the emotional and physical needs of this unique population. Infusion of natural light, well-planned clinical areas and access to multiple outside areas offer relief from anxiety and stimulates patient health.

Staff will have access to garden areas set aside for their use alone. Efficiency in operation and reduction in travel distance were accomplished in the clinical, diagnostic/treatment, and inpatient areas. Housing is provided on campus for staff at all levels. Ergonomic considerations were included in the design of staff work areas.

Courtesy of HKS

This pediatric hospital provides care for a large patient volume in a setting that is sensitive to the needs of children and their parents. This 1.3 million square foot facility will provide for 800 patient beds, 3,000 daily outpatient visits, and 500 emergency room visits.

Patients will arrive on foot, by bus, by bicycle, and automobile across a bridge that spans a below grade healing garden specifically designed for children and their parents arriving in a spacious multilevel space that provides easy way-finding and access into all areas of the hospital. The use of escalators will speed the patients to the clinical areas. Each floor of the facility will have patient registration, cashier and pharmacy thus reducing congestion and unnecessary traffic patterns.

site plan

Patient care areas were designed so that all patient rooms face south, in a mixture of single and 4 bed wards. The south facing rooms provide for the best balance of the healing benefits of the sun.

The inclusion of a separate infectious disease building, VIP patient areas, and staff housing all lend opportunities for integrated design solutions in a child friendly environment.

The site is in a rapidly developing urban area of Suzhou. The project will utilize the adjacent canal water for landscaping, water gardens, and supplementing the HVAC systems. The Chinese culture believes in natural light and air as a major component of healthcare delivery. All the patient rooms face south with the ability for natural ventilation. Garden courtyards will provide natural light and air to the diagnostic and clinical functions of the hospital. The project will incorporate cool roof technology and green roofs. The client is requesting the equivalent rating of LEED silver for the project.

east elevation

Parking is minimal for a project of this size and all the parking is below grade, decreasing the heat island effect. Bus stops are located on the adjacent streets. It is anticipated a majority of the visitors will arrive by mass transit. Staff housing is provided on site to minimize transportation to work.

The new hospital replaces an outdated and congested facility and will improve the healthcare delivery to the children of Suzhou.

Architects: HKS Location: Suzhou, China Design Team: Ron Dennis FAIA FACHA, Principal-in-Charge; Douglas Compton AIA LEED AP, Design Principal; Alex Wang AIA LEED AP, project planner; Alex Ling AIA, project designer Associate Architects: Fudan Design Institute (FDI); Suzhou Institute of Architectural Design (SIAD) Images: Courtesy of HKS

ground level

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Cite: Sebastian Jordana. "Suzhou Children's Hospital / HKS" 31 Jan 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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