Dubai, UAE: Buildings in healthcare should be designed and developed with the principal goal of improving the experience of the main users: patients and healthcare staff. More often than not, while perfectly sterile and healthy environments, healthcare facilities in the GCC can be quite intimidating and unwelcoming for some patients. According to Agi Architects, who have designed the Kuwait Cardiac Research & Rehabilitation Centre, a healthcare facility should make patients feel welcome and at home by producing a highly developed program and well-designed spatial organization, focusing on the user’s wellbeing.
According to Dr Nasser B Abulhasan, Principal, AGi Architects, Kuwait City, Kuwait, “Hospitals usually have a negative reputation, and are synonymous with illness; therefore it is of utmost importance to develop a space that generates a healthy, clean, and healing environment. The exterior façade is the most relevant element in designing the property and the first connection with the patient.”
The design of The Kuwait Cardiac Research & Rehabilitation Centre was purposefully developed to provide daylight, natural ventilation, and pleasant views, in order to contribute to the user’s comfort and health. This was created by including a series of courtyards of varying sizes that are incorporated in the building at different levels. The relationships created between public and private spaces through well-organized circulation paths help facilitate the operation of the building and give it a more natural atmosphere for both patients and staff.
Dr Abulhasan will be speaking at the Architect’s Congress at Building Healthcare Exhibition & Conferences, organised by Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions, taking place from 8-10 June 2015 at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Dubai, UAE. The event focuses on the design of a healing environment and how it impacts patient safety, operations, and the financial success of a healthcare facility.
The Kuwait Cardiac Research and Rehabilitation Centre is a reflection on hospitals public image. The interior of the centre is designed like a miniature city with different scales and hierarchies. The ‘main streets’ are the corridors where patients can be assisted in different receptions; and the main waiting areas are like a square with direct view to the main courtyards. The interior gives the feeling of being ‘outdoors’. The patients are received in a “living room” and addressed by a doctor privately and in each scenario maximum privacy and confidence with doctors is maintained.
“All modules have a small courtyard to provide light, natural ventilation and privacy. Services like swimming pool, gym and track are strategically located in the best locations of the ‘city’ with direct view to the sea (the building is located on the beach). Those spaces are used to stress tests / rehabilitation, where we propose big windows and double free height to reinforce the “outside” sensation. With a northern orientation these spaces will have the best light,” commented Dr Abulhasan.