Foster + Partners’ Cairo hospital embodies “latest research on biophilia”
Now under construction in Cairo, the 300-bed hospital will have a shell-like roofscape and nestle within a “lush, verdant landscape” that offers views of a lake and the Egyptian pyramids.
The scheme was designed by Foster + Partners using the principles of biophilic design, which seeks to satisfy people’s physical and emotional need for nature by integrating the natural world and natural materials.
The hospital will maximise natural light, greenery and outward views in an effort to help speed up patient recovery time.
“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,” explained Nigel Dancey, head of studio at Foster + Partners.
“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.”
Once complete, Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Centre Cairo will provide free treatment for underprivileged people living in Egypt.
It is being built adjacent to Zewail City of Science and Technology university to create an “integrated health and medical research zone” and will also be open to visits by students for educational purposes.
“Aswan Heart Centre offers state-of-the-art, free-of-charge medical services to the Egyptian people, particularly the underprivileged,” added the studio’s founder, Norman Foster.
“Lush and verdant, this oasis of paths and parks promotes wellbeing. With its passive design strategy, it is an exemplar of sustainability, responding to the needs of patients and to its locale.”
Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Centre Cairo will be accessed from the south of its site via a pedestrianised plaza with a shaded walkway. The entrance will be marked by a canopy.
Its ground floor will be multifunctional – host to an accident and emergency department, a large outpatient clinic, diagnosis and treatment facilities and the rehabilitative spaces.
Above, the first floor of the hospital will be dedicated to the intensive care units. These are each designed to help with recovery by offering complete privacy, natural daylight and views out to a lake.
Positioned next to these units will be the hospital’s surgical department, which the studio hopes will facilitate “collaboration between researchers and caregivers”.
The upper floors of the hospital will be divided up into the in-patient wards, each containing a mix of single and shared patient rooms.
These wards will be topped by the sculptural roof structures and rise up above a plant-filled terrace that will weave around the second floor.
This terrace will become host to the staff and visitor break-out spaces and be punctured by a series of courtyards that bring natural light into the depths of the buildings.
Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Centre Cairo will be complete with a staff canteen, a number of support spaces for families and educational rooms for visiting students. All the interiors will be unified by a “soft and warm” material palette that references the history of Egypt.
Foster + Partners was founded by Norman Foster in 1967. Today, it works from offices throughout the world but its headquarters remain in London, UK.
Its design for Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Centre Cairo is set to become the latest outpost of the Aswan Heart Centre foundation founded by Egyptian surgeon Sir Magdi Yacoub.
Elsewhere, Foster + Partners is developing an over-station skyscraper in central Sydney and has completed a flurry of international Apple stores including the “floating” Apple Marina Bay Sands, Apple Central World and Apple Sanlitun.
Visuals are courtesy of Foster + Partners.
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