King Abdullah Specialty Children's Hospital (KASCH)
National Guard Health Affairs
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Square Footage: 2 million
LEED NC Gold
Global Excellence Award, Healthcare Category, 2014
International Interior Design Association (IIDA)
The King Abdullah Specialty Children’s Hospital is located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia within one of the largest Academic Medical Districts of the region. The hospital includes a 200-bed Adult Specialty Hospital, a 350-bed Children’s Hospital and a series of outpatient clinics. Pedestrian bridges and covered drop-offs link an elevated landscaped medical plaza atop public parking to the medical complex entry lobbies.
Circulation, both horizontally and vertically, establishes the template for the design and building configuration. The first four floors of the hospital form the diagnostic and treatment chassis that support the three upper bed tower floors. Sensitive to the hot desert climate, the architecture massing is organized with the perimeter of the lower floors expressed as a solid skin with a rhythm of punched openings. The upper floors pull apart, forming the towers, which allow for pockets of space and natural light to filter down to the lower levels. The three towers read as a series of soft curving forms, reflecting the movement of the wind that is so prevalent at the site.
The design is respective of the culture and context, interlacing indigenous patterning into the flooring and glazing, incorporating a rich color palette, and providing for the privacy needs of the population. The design team identified and incorporated local materials and approaches to construction that are familiar to the region and celebrate the exquisite craft of the local expert installers. This is celebrated in the complex stone patterning, polished plaster work, and local specialty glass.
The interiors invoke a subtle childlike aesthetic to reach children from infant to teen as well as adults. The lobby features a three-story spiral stair anchored to a star patterned stone floor at the entry level. The celestial pattern is reinforced by the back lit ceiling panels of the lobby and the centered child-friendly light sculpture that travels down through the center of the staircase. Brightly patterned play rooms are adjacent to infusion areas and patient areas to provide must needed play during somewhat stressful times. Wayfinding is enhanced with the use of brightly colored walls and millwork within the patient floors. The patient rooms utilize a patient selected LED color ceiling that can be directed with the time of day to utilize optimal circadian rhythms or be turned to neutral when required. At night, the colored LED lighting in the patient rooms paint a subtle pattern of color on the tower face, visible from one wing of the tower to the next.