Community Hospital @ Yishun
With one of the fastest aging populations in Asia, Singapore is faced with the economic and social imperative of finding dignified ways to help older, disabled and ill people stay active and connected to what makes life worth living.The role of the Community Hospital at Yishun is to provide the best in “slow medicine,” which uses the latest medical technology in a setting that is tethered to the natural rhythms of the human body and spirit, and to the natural relationships of family, community, and the environment.
To support this goal, the concept is a hospital as a rain forest—the hospital as a living system built around care, and harnessing the sun, rain, soil and air to sustain life.
The building is comprised of five major components: a four-story podium for outpatient and rehabilitation services, a public and rehabilitative garden layer, a seven-story inpatient ward tower, a canopy roof layer, and a structural system that delivers vertical landscaping. An open-air, two-story public plaza is the front porch of the facility and includes a water feature and bird aviary to fill the space with an active, living environment.
In response to Singapore’s warm and humid climate, the building’s naturally ventilated, occupant-controlled skin draws in the prevailing winds, daylight and regional sounds and smells. Wide verandas, deep overhangs, ventilated roof structures and a material strategy of lightweight and low thermal conducting materials both respect and work with nature.
Railings, doors and window blinds—the things people touch—are locally sourced and sustainably harvested woods. In keeping with “slow medicine” philosophy, the hospital is designed for active participation between patients, staff, families, caregivers, and the community. The purposeful density of gardens, amenities and varied, intimately scaled modes of circulation is meant to encourage both rest and social interaction.