A NEW MODEL FOR SMALL HOSPITALS SERVING LOCAL COMMUNITIES
Our competiton entry was the only non-US submission to make the short list. The American health care provider Kaiser Permanente is known for its unique model of integrated care, usually based at a medical campus with a large hospital and supporting outbuildings. In 2011 Kaiser Permanente launched an international ideas competition to explore the potential of the small, community hospital as a component in a wider healh network.
Our proposal responded to the need for sustainable, patient-focussed and family friendly healthcare, based on the notion that the art of care is as important as the science of treatment.
We designed a clinically efficient building, which minimises patient journeys by putting the patient as close as possible to treatment and diagnosis. This humanist solution abandons traditional hospital constraints by placing all the care and treatment in small scale, shallow plan buildings set in gardens and courtyards.
Our design empowers patients and encourages them to become active participants in their path to recovery. They can control their personal space, choose the type of environment they want to recover inand the level of social interaction they prefer. They have full access to landscape and meditation spaces – an essential part of the healing process.
Fewer staff hand-overs help reduce clinical error and an excellent working environment contributes to a safer clinical culture. Wherever possible, we have eliminated the need for corridors and waiting spaces, reducing floor area and cost.
The design is genuinely sustainable, exploiting its climate and context to minimize energy consumption. Theshallow plan, low-rise building blocks maximise the use of passive energy. Courtyards and gardens provide shade and allow evaporative cooling. The building could achieve a near zero carbon solution. It is capable of doubling or trebling in size in a rational fashion and can flex in day to day operation, proving adaptable in the short or medium term.