Foster + Partners hospital puts nature at the heart of healing process

Construction has begun on a new heart hospital in Egypt by Foster + Partners. Named the Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Centre, the project is designed to help speed up the healing process by offering patients a cool and lush landscape to recover in.

The Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Centre Cairo will rise “at the foot of the pyramids” (or at least close enough for a fine view of them) in the Egyptian capital and offer free healthcare to underprivileged patients, who will be surrounded by gardens with native plants. The idea behind it is reminiscent of the line of Maggie’s centers, which also incorporate greenery in a bid to help people heal.

“Construction on the Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Centre Cairo has begun,” says the firm. “It is the newest outpost of the Aswan Heart Centre founded by renowned Egyptian surgeon Sir Magdi Yacoub and provides free state-of-the-art treatment for the people of Egypt and beyond, in particular those in sub-Saharan Africa. The design of the 300-bed hospital responds to the needs of patients, their families and the staff that care for them, and is set within a lush, verdant landscape and a calming lake that seeks to optimize the overall patient experience and decrease recovery times.”

The Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Centre will open onto terrace areas
The Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Centre will open onto terrace areas

Foster + Partners

The hospital will consist of four floors and reach a maximum height of 29 m (95 ft). The uppermost part will be raised on supports, creating a shaded area below. Natural light and ventilation is a key focus and the interior design will reference Egyptian history.

The ground floor will host much of the working hospital areas, including diagnosis and treatment facilities, an accident and emergency department, surgical department, and a large outpatient clinic and rehabilitative departments.

A green terrace on the second floor will provide a place for visitors and staff to get some air, and each of the eight intensive care units will be oriented to maximize the views of the landscaped gardens, which will be planted with local greenery to reduce water needs. A new lake will be created in an attempt to cool the immediate area and elsewhere will be several courtyards and pedestrian paths snaking through the greenery.

The hospital is slated to receive LEED certification (a green building standard), though further details on its sustainability are still light at this early stage. We do know that in addition to the natural light and cooling, wells are to be used if found suitable, as will local materials and building techniques.

Foster + Partners has been integrating a lot of greenery into its projects recently, with its Icône office and huge Beverly Hills development both dominated by plants.

Source: Foster + Partners

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