Our home is our safe harbor, and we do not want to compromise on that feeling when stepping outdoors. Public spaces such as hospitals, airports, education facilities, or convention centers will undergo a long-due makeover offering a homely, more meaningful, and less anonymous layout. Humanizing public design needs to be on private and public agendas, and a thoughtful example of how that could look like is Foster& Partners hospital project in Cairo.
Construction on the Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Centre Cairo began in September 2020. 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 Egypt and beyond, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa.
The 300-bed hospital design responds to patients’ needs, 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. By now, we know how recharging biophilia design can be.
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.”- Nigel Dancey, Head of Studio, Foster + Partners
With striking views of Giza’s Pyramids, the site for the new hospital borders the prestigious Zewail City of Science and Technology, forming part of the integrated health and medical research zone. The site’s main access is from the south through a pedestrian plaza with an intimate shaded route that leads to a welcoming canopy that marks the entrance. Several courtyards bring natural light into the deep plan building while also aiding orientation. Supporting the innovations of the center, the surgical department, and intensive care units are co-located. This minimizes the distance between ‘bed and bench,’ maximizing collaboration between researchers and caregivers working to deliver advanced, innovative care.
On the first floor, each of the eight intensive care units is designed to optimize recovery, with privacy and natural daylight. Each patient room on this level is oriented to benefit from landscaped views and the newly formed lake on the northern edge. The hospital also features support spaces for families to stay. Simultaneously, the patients recuperate, and classrooms and other educational spaces for medical students to engage within an active learning environment. The design uses soft and warm colors throughout the interior, influenced by the psychology of colors and Egyptian history.