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Hospitals aren't spaces you think of when it comes to architectural wonders. But Foster + Partners believes otherwise. The British studio just released renderings of the Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Centre Cairo hospital in Egypt that focuses on implementing nature into the design to promote patients' wellbeing.
The 300-bed hospital, which is currently under construction, will feature an arched roofline, natural stone facade, and greenery. Several courtyards bring natural light into the building on the ground floor, while each of the eight intensive care units on the first floor is also oriented to be light-filled. A large open terrace provides a peaceful escape for staff and visitors, and rich, native flora was used to create a green interwoven ring with pedestrian paths.
Warm colors were used throughout the interior, influenced by the psychology of colors and Egyptian history. Plus, there are views of the Pyramids of Giza and lake that help the overall patient experience and decrease recovery times.
"Lush and verdant, this oasis of paths and parks promotes wellbeing," Norman Foster, Founder and Executive Chairman, Foster + Partners, told Departures in a statement. "With its passive design strategy, it is an exemplar of sustainability, responding to the needs of patients and its locale."
The studio is also looking for ways to use eco-friendly methods that are health-focused too. For example, the manmade lake will cool the environment and the lush gardens creating a healing experience. Concrete is commonly used in the region to help provide cooling to buildings, and the local landscape will be used for minimizing water use. Natural ventilation, wherever possible, and encouraging patients to be active with specially designed sheltered paths to walk are all part of this healing oasis design.
"This is a special project that focuses on giving the best care to the patients and offering them the best natural setting to recover in," Nigel Dancey, Head of Studio, Foster + Partners, told us in a statement. "It brings together the latest research on biophilia and the positive impact of nature in clinical settings with our pioneering work on collaborative working environments that allow healthcare professionals to give the best care."