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Works #663

Shenzhen BGI HospitalDesign Presentation

Nordic — Office of Architecture

Nordic — Office of Architecture

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Nordic — Office of Architecture

Nordic — Office of Architecture

Location Shenzhen, China
Year 2021
Categories Architectural Design  >  Medical facilities


Nordic — Office of Architecture is excited to reveal our vision for Shenzhen BGI Hospital, located in the Longgang District of Shenzhen, China, was selected as one of three finalists. Our design proposal for the international, research-focused and innovative hospital of the future explores connecting a high-tech development with the surrounding natural landscape. This unique opportunity to redefine the boundary between park and city allows the forest to breathe again whilst injecting new vitality to the site, demonstrating how urbanity and nature can truly coexist.

Innovation in the city’s DNA
Throughout the design process, the team was mindful to present architectural solutions that are not only programmatically and financially efficient, but also focused on the human experience for patients and staff. These considerations, combined with the hospital’s use of smart design and equipment, embodies the local context; Shenzhen is a progressive city and a “hothouse of innovation” according to The Economist.

The aim for Shenzhen BGI Hospital is the become a world leader in rare disease research, diagnosis and treatment. This was the basis for our design concept. Inspired by the geometry of the DNA molecule, we configured the volumes as a Double Y chromosome, a spatial sequence where every room can enjoy connecting to the natural environment. At the centre, we created a spine that not only connects the hospitals functions, but also becomes an inviting public space, bringing a substantial garden to the heart of the hospital.

Efficient and adaptable design
To optimise for efficiency, we designed a compact structure with short distances and separation of flows, strong connections between components, continuous functional areas, a flexible building system optimized for future adaptations, and robust materials. Our proposal to futureproof the hospital includes accommodating state-of-the-art technological developments and making provisions for future development. This means integrating solutions for intelligent building operations systems and monitoring; intelligent wayfinding and integrated security systems; modular and industrialised building systems; integrated building operations system adopted in the design phase; and a sustainable design.

To support the human experience, our scheme embraces the importance of creating a healing environment for patients as well as a desirable workplace for staff. Additionally, we integrated sustainable measures such as natural ventilation and harvested rainwater and sunlight to ensure enhanced efficiency and longevity.
“To improve the human experience in our healthcare projects, we focus on the connection to nature and the health benefits this brings. In the case of BGI, we focused on access to views, daylight and biophilic elements such as green gardens. We also looked at how intuitive the building is to navigate and offered a variety of spaces to accommodate socialising and solitude.” Thomas Fagernes, Nordic – Office of Architecture

Working with natural parameters
The building complex will be integrated and well connected to the sloping landscape. The beautiful site will be transformed to a green hospital campus with gardens and forest-zones at ground level. The sloping terrain offers the opportunity to distribute the program on the site while maintaining good views from the patient wards. A central spine offers intuitive wayfinding and an engaging public space on multiple levels.

The building volume is divided into three parts: the podium with the central spine, tower and staff area. The rare disease research tower is separate from the inpatient department and works as an independent volume. Functions with high flows are in the central spine and podium. Tranquil and private spaces are on the upper floors. Emergency on the ground floor will have direct access from outside. Ambulatories, diagnosis, and imaging on the lower floors has easy access from the spine. Surgery is centrally placed to get good access both from the Spine and the inpatient areas on the top floors.

The facades of the towers and podium are composed of alternating glazed and opaque surfaces. The opaque elements of the towers consist of cantilevering horizontal fins in white aluminium that contribute to shade the interior spaces from the region’s bright sun whilst diffusing the reflected light to the ceiling and deep into patient rooms. The glazed surface is broken up by vertical fins that reduce the sun’s radiation as needed. On the podium, the opaque bands are cladded with natural stone and present a linear slot within the thickness of the facade to hide pots for the greenery. The glazed surface alternate big, fixed panels to smaller openable windows.

Designed as an expression of Shenzhen’s innovative DNA and the hospitals ambitions, this organic yet geometric hospital will become a landmark for the region, whilst forming a symbiotic relationship with the surrounding landscape.