The design for the First People’s Hospital by HMC Architects aims to create a sustainable healthcare architecture, an idea new to the practice of the region. The project, which was the winner of the national AIA Academy of Architecture for Health 2011 Unbuilt award, features green design elements which optimize building performance. In addition, these elements create a healing environment, further its mission for community outreach, and evolve with cultural uniqueness. Its iconic architecture engages the local historical values and building industry/material. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The site is a 33-acre open field with a canal on its northern border and a green belt reserved on its southern border for the new city. As one of the first major structures of the new city, this hospital campus will be the impetus to the planned urban community in which it resides, tying directly to the planned urban transportation, road, utility, and building systems. Being the largest public building complex in the area, the medical center expresses its civic representation through its open-campus plan and accessible outdoor plaza/garden spaces.
The city of Shunde is a historic city known for numerous mountain ridges and gardens and canals. The use of terracotta screen and water elements as the main building components continues Shunde’s tradition of terracotta manufacturing and water. The massing and orientation of the campus make reference to the historical city and engage traffic patterns from the proposed urban infrastructure. The building footprints are designed to be as compact as possible to maximize open space and allow for future expansion.
The clear and logical organization of the site optimizes site efficiency, while maximizing flexibility for future development. The four distinct site zones¬—inpatient, outpatient, support and staff—are juxtaposed to correspond to the public/noisy side and private quiet side respectively. The access points into the site are clearly separated to ease wayfinding.
Taking into account the high peak influx of outpatient visits of 3,000 patients, a grand atrium is created to accommodate registration, waiting, food service and retail functions. This dynamic linear “eco-atrium” is the main organizational spine that connects and harmonizes all components of the campus. It is a naturally ventilated indoor/outdoor space in a vibrant 24-hour medical facility where visitors will spend most of their waiting time. Healing gardens are located throughout the campus. The vertical gardens, roof garden, and viewing terraces bring green spaces and nature to each block.
The medical planning strategies translate advanced western hospital design to accommodate Chinese local practices, creating a forward-thinking healing environment. Infection control is a focus of innovation for this project as this region was the epicenter of SARS. In terms of campus planning, the connected but independent departmental building allows infection control and quarantine capacity during an epidemic event. Another area of innovation is in the interventional platform where western interventional platform planning—with less sterile and soil traffic—is proposed to reduce the risk of cross contamination of material and people.
The inpatient beds are located in two towers with 1,200 beds in one and 800 beds in another. This inpatient arrangement allows for management independency while the bridging connection on the upper floors provides flexibility for staff sharing and material transport.
The sustainable design initiative of this project has prompted local government to designate this project as one of the first pilot green hospitals in China. With emphasis on fundamental sustainable design practices, the overall building performance will vastly exceed local energy regulation.
Some of the major sustainable strategies are:
- Sustainable site: Open space is maximized to 75% (40% of which is vegetated) which exceeds local zoning requirement by 50%. Public transportation system is brought onto the campus for patient and staff commuting. Bioswale and large water body are proposed to harvest and manage storm water. - Optimal building orientation: All buildings are juxtaposed in east-west orientation. These slender building blocks maximize daylight and allow panoramic views to the landscape and cityscape for both staff and patients. - Optimal indoor environmental quality: The optimal building orientation and massing maximize natural day-lighting and ventilation and reduces solar heat gain while capturing renewable energy. Humid air is dehumidified through natural ventilation, stack effect, and chilled beams.
- Thermal mass, solar screens, and geothermal energy (underground air tunnels) are used as passive means in regulating indoor temperature. Terracotta on the “eco-atrium” wall is used as sun screen and thermal mass that reduces heat gain during the day and provides warmth at night. - Innovation in design and renewable energy: The building façade systems are derived through mapping of the building envelope’s solar exposure. A building integrated photovoltaic system (BIPV) is designed into the façade shading screen, skylight, and roofing system to generate 1,500 Mwh of renewable energy annually to supplement a major portion of the energy consumption. - Local material: Terracotta exterior panels, as the main building envelope material, is manufactured locally; the City of Shunde is historically known for its terracotta industry.
Architects: HMC Architects Location: Shunde, China Program: 2,000 beds, inpatient towers, acute care facility, 6000 daily visit outpatient facilities, medical research building, cancer center, and infectious disease building Size: 2,400,000 SF Date: Unbuilt, estimated completion summer 2012