Plans have been unveiled for a new hospital complex in the gulf state of Qatar.
The proposed Al Daayan Health District in Qatar will consist of open spaces designed to promote the wellbeing of patients and facilitate larger throughput of patients. And it will be 3D printed right there in the Qatar desert.
The site has an area of 1.3 million m^2, and will be self reliant in terms of energy production and waste management. You can see a wider view of the modular complex in the rendering below.
The project has been designed by Dutch architectural firm OMA, and will be constructed with the aid of UK based civil engineering company Buro Happold on behalf of Qatari hospital operator Hamad Medical Corporation.
It was commissioned as the result of local healthcare infrastructure’s perceived inability to meet the growth of needs in the future, and the pandemic has added to this concern. The architects wish to use a more modular, low rise method of design and construction, so that the hospital complex can expand as time goes on.
This flexibility in complex design reduces the chance of obsolescence, the architects claim, as traditional hospitals have been observed to become outdated within a couple of decades as technology and needs change For example, the size of operating theaters tends to grow over time, as more complex (bigger) technology becomes adopted within aging facilities.
The modular approach with an Industry 4.0 slant could be a remedy for this, by 3D printing the extra module structures on site, and installing the custom extensions on demand, and according to requirements. In addition to the actual printed structures, additive manufacturing will be used for printing ornate facades for the healing gardens and open space in the complex.
You can see the OMA promotional video for the “Hospital of the Future” in the video below.
“When you consider that the main task of a hospital is to care for people, the environments they generate don’t seem to care about people. You see this impenetrable fortress,” said Reinier de Graaf, partner at OMA.
“It’s fair to say that it’s probably largely the fault of hospitals that people dislike modern architecture, because they represent the worst of modern architecture.”
As you can see in the render below, the complex features open, well lit hospital wards and leafy courtyards and spacious arches, 3D printed with local decor styles.
The design is an attempt to move away from the utilitarian high rises of the Cold War.
“Many of these post-1980 hospitals are low rise. Few floors. They’re flat. We have a new one in Montreal. It looks like a Toys R Us. Each pavilion is a different colour, it’s in different blocks,” said Annmarie Adams, an expert in hospital design at McGill University.
“There’s this urgency to normalize medicine, to just make it feel like a regular place to go. That comes out of our fear of serious illness and this idea that many of these institutions are starting to look alike. That’s not really new — that’s since the 1980s.”
The hospital will house infrastructure and machinery below ground, the ground floor will be for consultancy areas, and the 1st floor will accommodate patients in 1,400 beds.
The hospital is planned to set a new standard of healthcare in the region, when complete.