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Construction starts on Foster + Partners-designed Cairo hospital

Construction has begun on the new Foster + Partners-designed Cairo hospital, featuring soft and warm colours and shell-like roofs, located within a lush, verdant landscape. The new hospital will overlook a calming lake that seeks to optimise the overall patient experience and decrease recovery times.
Image © Foster + Partners

Named Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Centre Cairo, the building is the newest outpost of the Aswan Heart Centre founded by renowned Egyptian surgeon Sir Magdi Yacoub and will provide free state-of-the-art treatment for the people of Egypt and beyond, in particular those in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Foster + Partners uses soft and warm colours throughout the interior, influenced by the psychology of colours and the Egyptian history.

The design will be a 300-bed capacity hospital that responds to the needs of patients, their families and the staff that care for them. The site for the new hospital borders the Zewail City of Science and Technology, forming part of an integrated health and medical research zone.

Image © Foster + Partners

Free-of-charge medical services

"New Aswan Heart Centre offers state-of-the-art, free-of-charge medical services to the Egyptian people, particularly the underprivileged. Lush and verdant, this oasis of paths and parks promotes wellbeing," said Norman Foster, founder and executive chairman of Foster + Partners.

"With its passive design strategy, it is an exemplar of sustainability, responding to the needs of patients and to its locale. We are delighted to be working with Sir Magdi Yacoub and his foundation for such a noble cause."

"The main access to the site is from the south through a pedestrian plaza with an intimate shaded route that leads to a welcoming canopy that marks the entrance," said Foster + Partners.

On the ground level, there will be comprehensive diagnosis and treatment facilities, including an accident and emergency department, a large outpatient clinic and rehabilitative departments.

Image © Foster + Partners

Co-located surgical department, intensive care units

The complex, which will include several courtyards, bring natural light into the deep plan building, while also aiding orientation. Supporting the innovations of the centre, the surgical department and intensive care units are co-located.

"This minimises the distance between 'bed and bench', maximising collaboration between researchers and caregivers working to deliver advanced, innovative care," added Foster + Partners.

"Cardiovascular disease is currently the most important cause of disability and death with 80% of the burden affecting low- and middle-income countries. This demands urgent action with emphasis on quality and excellence at every level," said Sir Magdi Yacoub.

"The new Global Heart Centre designed by Lord Foster and Foster + Partners exemplifies the ultimate facilities capable of achieving the objectives of the Magdi Yacoub Foundation in terms of care, training and research at the highest level, directed at people who need it the most.

"We are all proud to be part of this important and meaningful partnership," Yacoub added.

Image © Foster + Partners

Design to optimise recovery

On the first floor, eight intensive care units are designed to optimise recovery, with privacy and natural daylight. Each patient room on this level is oriented so that patients benefit from landscaped views and the newly formed lake on the northern edge.

The prefabricated operating theatres bring the best available care, with carefully planned flows to ensure high clinical safety standards.

The hospital also features support spaces for families to stay while the patients recuperate as well as classrooms and other educational spaces for medical students to engage within an active learning environment.

There will be a green terrace on the second floor and the design is inspired by the local traditions of being outdoors during the cooler parts of the day, providing a vital break-out space for the staff and visitors.

"The open terrace is interspersed with complementary built spaces containing a large staff canteen, children’s nursery and other collaborative meeting spaces for staff to share ideas," explained Foster + Partners.

Image © Foster + Partners

On the upper floors, there are a series of single and shared patient rooms and each of them will have expansive views of the surrounding lake and landscape, and are sheltered by sculptural shell-like roof structures.

"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. 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," said Nigel Dancey, head of studio, Foster + Partners.

Article originally published on World Architecture Community.


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