When designing hospitals and other facilities or spaces for medical purposes, I’ve grown to realise that the more human they are the more effective they would be. To Humanise a space, I believe it must, to some extent, be connected to nature, and I don’t mean dropping a few potted plants in the corner. It must have an integration that allows nature permeate the space and vice versa. Sadly this belief of mine is not shared by many. But one man who does share my belief is Mario Cucinella, the architect behind this masterfully crafted hospital in Algiers.
In tune with Islamic Culture, he was able to seamlessly connect green outdoor spaces with functional spaces for patients and visitors. This, apparently, is a founding principle within the culture and as well it should be in all cultures. It not only adds to the aesthetic quality of the design, It also delivers value to the therapeutic experience of the Hospital. Built around a large garden court, the building design ensures that every individual coming through its doors has an adequate indoor and outdoor experience devoted to them, thereby facilitating a strong bond between man and nature while strengthening the bond between men through socialisation and co-habitation.
The Hospital mass is broken into varying cascading terraced levels that create a dramatic rising effect, all brought together by a monolithic, but, seemingly perforated ring roof which clearly defines the elegant form of whole complex. To further enhance the structure’s synergy, a radial mesh was designed to enclose the hospital rooms, offices, theaters and many other spaces within the complex.
The garden court also rises as the building does, with nature stepping to the next floor via a roof garden of sorts atop the ground level. The terraces on each level create many pockets of vegetation besides the central court that makes for a pleasurable user experience and an incredible vista.
The combination of so much green space and a flexible, modular structure makes for a very sustainable building, allowing it adapt and transform with time and technology without omitting Nature and the raw therapeutic bliss that it offers.