Proposed structure in Qatar shows it will grow medicinal plants, generate energy and manage waste
Al Daayan Health District, a proposed hospital in Qatar, will be built on a 1.3-million-square-metre site near Doha.
With its low-rise profile, attractive courtyard gardens and modular construction, the proposed Al Daayan Health District in Qatar offers a stark contrast to hospitals that many residents in the Gulf — or other parts of the world — will be familiar with.
The plan for the 1.3-million-square-metre site near Doha is ambitious, but designers suggest it could become a regional standard in the future.
There are no tower blocks, medicinal plants are grown on-site and the facility can generate its own energy as well as deal with its own waste.
And it will be built by robots using 3D printing.
Commissioned by Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), a Qatari hospital operator, the master plan for Al Daayan Health District, unveiled in late 2021, is the work of Dutch architectural practice OMA and British engineering company Buro Happold.
In its brief to the architects, HMC said its existing infrastructure lacked space, did not have the capacity for current and future demand, and was “a major barrier to clinical service transformation”.
Speaking earlier this year at a healthcare conference in Berlin, Reinier de Graaf, the partner at OMA overseeing the project, suggested that hospital design, in general, was in need of a shake-up.Hospitals came to look like shopping malls or airports or hotels. They looked more like fantasy buildings or buildings that offered some escapeAnnmarie Adams, professor at McGill University
“When you consider that the main task of a hospital is to care for people, the environments they generate don’t seem to care about people. You see this impenetrable fortress,” he said.
Many contemporary hospitals are, Mr De Graaf said, large, anonymous, ugly and distant from the people they are built to serve.
“It’s fair to say that it’s probably largely the fault of hospitals that people dislike modern architecture, because they represent the worst of modern architecture,” he added.
The Qatari hospital is envisaged as having 1,400 beds, with patients staying on the first floor, while the ground floor is used for consultation rooms and other services. Machines located underground, meanwhile, are involved in keeping the hospital running.
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