Winners: Shubham Solanki , Anmol Mathur , Vardan Soi
College: University School Of Architecture And Planning, Delhi
Children Hospital & Research Centre Healing through Nature
Site: – Eco park, Rajarhat New Town, Kolkata, West Bengal
India is home to 472 million children under the age of 0-18 years, comprising 39 percent of the country’s total population. Out of these 128.5 million children reside in urban areas, making it imperative that we plan and build sustainable and inclusive cities from their perspective. Prevalence of Chronic Diseases in Urban Community is much higher than the rural community and thus requires special attention. Urban Lifestyle exposes children to polluted environments & disparity from Nature. Children in urban India are exposed to many health hazards like respiratory diseases, Obesity, Substance abuse, Neuromuscular & orthopedic problems, diabetes, stress etc. Out of all these Health hazards ; West Bengal amongst all the Indian states leads in the percentage of youth involved in substance abuse & among cities Kolkata lands alarming on the rate of Respiratory , diabetes, TB & Tetanus infections. (Source – Urban children in India, a report by “Save the Children”.) These statistics prompt us to Re-imagine Children health in Urban Areas. Site Context: – The Site is 2 acres of Land Parcel adjacent to 400 acres of Lake front Ecological and Leisure Park in New Town, Rajarhat, Kolkata and West Bengal. It has a rich biodiversity and serves as a vital lung space to the upcoming New Town. Site Justification: – This location gives us an advantage to explore child health in an ailing city with rapid urbanization & ever increasing population. It allows us to set a benchmark in the manner hospitals are Imagined & situated in a city.
Concept: – “Nature itself is the best Physician”- Hippocrates. Our intent of designing this Hospital is to strengthen this bond so that children can again enjoy the nature which cities have snatched from them. Right from selecting the site to the design massing, an aura has been created to act catalyst to Heal naturally. The story of Motherhood- A mother’s womb is considered to be the safest space on Earth. In architecture, a concave shaped space psychologically provides a sense of reassurance and comfort. Just like a mother, nature takes care of us & its benign self always blesses us with the gift of good health & wellbeing.
Design Response: – The design responds to the site by opening it up to the Lake creating a “channel” to make “Life flow through it”. The blocks have been placed on the two edges, clearing the central axis and allowing “Life” to flow from the lake front to the site. A central “Spine” flows through the Hospital Complex making it a part of the Lake front. Responding to the site layout the Final Zoning of various blocks of the hospital was done keeping the Emergency & Operation Blocks near the Arterial road while keeping the OPD & IPD block facing the lake & Eco-Park for natural views & thermal comfort of the East facade. The hospital street takes its place in the Central spine making it the busiest & most important “feeding unit” of the Hospital. To bring the “Public Spine” & the “Flow of Life” back we now sink the Hospital below to -2.4M creating a “FUNCTION UNDERBELLY” which serves the hospital’s vital circulation. What is visible above is a Happy & Active public street Protected by the “DOUBLY CURVED WALLS” resembling the warmth of a Mother’s arms. “MOVING WATER HEALS” keeping this in view a Rainwater Channel has been created leading to water body which doubles up as a Recharge Pit.
This channel creates a visual emersion into the lake when viewed from the spine. “GREEN TERRACES” created on the blocks to engage patients in wellness activities & terrace farming. The hospital demanded an evolved typology which was achieved through the bifurcation of public spaces. Two public spaces have been created for recreational purposes: one for the outside public that would include OPD patients, guests, etc. and another for the in-patients and staff. The openings in the concave wall provide the perfect amount of permeability between the two bifurcated spaces.
Sustainable Features & Energy Efficiency: – The design creates massing of two blocks in a way to create a mutually shaded “central spline”. Adding terrace gardens & earth berming creates a low energy campus requiring less cooling loads by maximizing roof & wall insulation respectively. Creating natural wind currents through the central spline & allowing Punctures through the doubly curved walls allows for natural ventilation in non-critical & open areas of the hospital.
The Doubly curved walls act as a thermal mass, also the “dirty corridor” in the hospital block is placed on the West façade inducing a buffer & thermal lag to the indoor Air-conditioned space.
The campus is also designed to be Net-Zero on water using rainwater harvesting & recharge pits with a capacity of 7,705cu.m/year in the form of the water bodies created on the campus. Recycled water will be used for irrigation & flushing & will finally dissipate after being treated in the STP. A special focus has been given to waste management by creating dedicated biomedical waste decomposition & STP for other wastes. Around 20,000 cub.m of earth will be excavated from the site to create Water bodies, STPs & Lower ground floor. This excavated earth will be used to create Compressed Earth blocks for construction on site. The Campus will meet 100% of its lighting & HVAC energy requirement with Solar PV panels which generate 22000 kWh / year.
Additional Programs The campus is equipped with an extensive emergency & Labor & delivery unit for pregnant mothers. Additional spaces like a Rehabilitation Centre for children indulged in substance abuse has also been developed. The terraces host a variety of outdoor activities like Yoga meditation & organic farming explaining them the benefits of nutritious meals & guiding them towards a healthy lifestyles. Sensory gardens will help children enjoy the flora & also learn about it so that they can start respecting the nature.