Challenging the norm
With the rapid development of Huzhou in recent years, the city’s main downtown hospital, Huzhou Central Hospital, has been dealing with the inability to meet the growing medical needs of its city’s residents. The Huzhou Central Hospital project was established to relocate the hospital to the developing CBD district on a much larger site, just five kilometers north of its original home downtown. With the relocation, the government also upgraded the positioning of the hospital by increasing its coverage area to serve patients not only in Huzhou, but also in the surrounding local region.
▼项目整体鸟瞰图，aerial view of the project © RawVision Studio
With a total building area of 242,000 square meters, with 90,500 square meters of open green space, the project houses 1,500 patient beds and has an outpatient capacity of 6,000 patients per day. In addition to separate inpatient, outpatient, D&T, and administration departments, the design also incorporates lifestyle retail and leisure facilities dedicated to families and visitors of patients within the hospital, including cafés, a food market, and a bookstore.
▼项目航拍顶视图，top view of the project © RawVision Studio
Patient centric focus
▼分析图，diagram gif © Perkins&Will
The project is located on a 17.3 hectare site on the southern banks of Tai Lake. The hospital’s masterplan is oriented along a curving east/west axis that divides the overall site into two main areas . The zone to the south is dedicated to outpatient and hospital administration services, while the area to the north houses all inpatient and D&T departments. Bordered by natural wetlands, lush landscaping and a gentle river that runs around the perimeter of the site, a pedestrian-only zone was created on the northern end of the site for inpatients and their visitors – providing a calm and peaceful setting for healing and relaxation.
▼停车场一侧鸟瞰，aerial view of the parking side © RawVision Studio
▼住院部等需要私密环境的功能空间则被置于恬静优美的基地北边，the area to the north houses all inpatient and D&T departments © RawVision Studio
At the southern end of the site, a pedestrian-only entry plaza was created to allow for a car-free zone, where patients taking public transporation can easily enter the hospital without having to cross traffic. Vehicular access at the main entry was instead, pushed below ground and design in conjunction with the basement parking. Above ground, a perimeter road circumventing the site allows vehicular access to all outpatient facilities, surface parking, and dedicated taxi waiting and passenger drop-off zones. A separate structure on the west end of the site was designed to provide additional parking, as well as F&B options for patients and hospital staff.
▼医院主入口一侧鸟瞰，aerial view from the entrance side ©三景影像
“From the initial planning stages to becoming operational, this hospital took six years to complete. In the past year since the hospital opened to the public, we have seen numerous patients coming here to be treated and cured. This is the ultimate affirmation of our hard work. All the effort we invested into this project is well worth it and our hospital will continue striving to create a healthy city and community! ”
Huzhou Central Hospital, Chief of Capital Improvement, Lin Jun
▼中心广场采用了人车分流模式，The central square adopts the traffic diversion mode ©三景影像
A hospital in a park
In sharp contrast to its former downtown location, the new facility was designed as a “hospital in a park”, featuring lush landscaping and peaceful outdoor areas with the purpose of improving the healing experience. Located on the north end of the site adjacent to the river, the highlight of the landscape design is an extensive waterfront park that seamlessly integrates a multitude of green spaces such as art, yoga and aromatherapy gardens, outdoor physical rehab areas, and a free-standing island park in the middle of the river for even greater calm and privacy.
▼医院北面的滨水康复花园，Waterfront Rehabilitation Garden is on the north side of the hospital ©三景影像
▼由滨水康复花园看建筑，viewing the building from the river © RawVision Studio
One of the key strategies to enhance the user experience was to ensure patients have access to natural elements throughout the building. Large skylights allows daylight to permeate the entire hospital, while glass walls give visual access to the landscape outside. Exterior courtyards or “nuclei” within the cell-shaped outpatient and D&T buildings were inserted to allow patients in waiting areas to engage with natural sunlight and greenery.
▼弧线形的立面，Curved facades © RawVision Studio
▼充足的绿色元素，Plenty of green elements © RawVision Studio
“This is a garden-style hospital that has the ability to live and breathe. I believe that regardless of who visits our new hospital, whether they be patients or medical staff, they will feel relaxed, peaceful, and full of hope. ”
Huzhou Central Hospital, Party Committee Secretary, Ma Jianming
▼外观细部，exterior detail © RawVision Studio
Inspired by life
Inspired by the basic elements of human life, the organic nature of cells and chromosomes are reflected in the building forms and the fluidity of the surrounding river and landscape design. The orientation of the inpatient towers allows for expansive views to the park and beyond, while the ‘nucleus’ courtyards allow users to access natural light within the outpatient ‘cells’. The linear and undulating façade language gives the assemblage of buildings a visual consistency and presents a modern technological appearance to the facility.
▼三层通高的门诊大厅，four-story glass pavilion serves as the main entrance to the building © RawVision Studio
At the center of the hospital, patients are embraced by a four-story glass pavilion which serves as the main entrance to the building. The structure is supported by four inverted bell-shaped columns and acts as a welcoming gesture to all visitors. The clerestory windows and natural wood tones throughout the space further enhance the warm and inviting atmosphere.
The structure is supported by four inverted bell-shaped columns © RawVision Studio
the space further enhance the warm and inviting atmosphere © RawVision Studio
In order to simplify the internal circulation, a ‘medical street’ along the east/west axis connects the major medical departments within the hospital. Patients and visitors entering the street are immediately greeted by an impressive four-story tall sculptural ‘tree’, anchoring the central atrium. Known as the “Tree of Life”, it is an uplifting and inspirational icon representing the hospital, as well as the intimate relationship between humans and nature. The canopy structure is seamlessly integrated with the expansive skylight above, flooding the space with natural light.
▼贯穿中庭的巨型网状结构与玻璃天窗连为一体，a ‘medical street’ along the east/west axis connects the major medical departments within the hospital ©三景影像
the structure symbolizes the “Tree of Life” © RawVision Studio
“The fusion of an international design approach with China’s medical treatment practices have resulted in an efficient and flexible healthcare facility that focuses on enhancing the patient experience and maintaining their sense of dignity. ”
Perkins&Will, Associate Principal and Technical Director, Runchao Xu
“Central atriums and expansive open skylights are design features typically found in commercial retail projects with the purpose of placemaking and activating public gathering spaces. By implementing these strategies, we were able to break through the conventional healthcare design approach in China. I always consider it a compliment when patients tell me that the spaces don’t feel like they’re in a hospital. ”
Perkins&Will, Senior Associate and Design Leader, Jason Hsun
▼书吧、咖啡厅，Book bar, coffee shop ©三景影像
▼围绕庭院的候诊空间，The waiting space around the courtyard © RawVision Studio
A focus on wellness and sustainability
The project employs a variety of design strategies with the goal of championing a more sustainable development and patient experience.
As part of the nationwide ‘Sponge City’ initiative, the exterior parking areas utilize permeable paving to reduce rainwater runoff and aids in replenishing groundwater resources. Extensive landscaping provides a stronger connection to nature while promoting a healthier environment. Outdoor roof gardens serve to shield the building from excessive heat gain while providing a more visually pleasant roofscape. The facades allow natural sunlight into the building which serve to improve the quality of the interior spaces and to reduce energy usage, while sunshading devices help to minimize excessive direct solar gain. As a large consumer of water, the hospital employed solar water heating systems to take advantage of sustainable energy sources and cutting down energy costs.
▼夜景，night view © RawVision Studio
▼总平面图，master plan © Perkins&Will
摄影师：©RawVision Studio ©三景影像
2016年， “十二五” 全国十佳医院建筑设计方案，《中国医院建筑与装备》杂志社、《建筑技艺》杂志社
Huzhou Central Hospital (Northern Zhejiang Medical Center)
Architecture Firm: Perkins&Will
Project location: Huzhou, China
Start Date: 2015
Completion Date: 2020
Gross Built Area: 242,057 square meters
Site Area: 166,666 square meters
Design Scope: Medical Planning, Architecture, Interior Concept, Landscape Concept
Programs: Outpatient, medical technology, inpatient, office, parking, leisure, etc.
Managing Principal: James Lu
Lead Medical Planner: Runchao Xu
Lead Designer: Jason Hsun
Project Team: Jianping Li, Xiaopeng Gao, Zheng Gong, Zhou Fang
Clients: Huzhou Central Hospital
Photographer: ©RawVision Studio ©Tri-Images
Local Architect: Zhejiang Modern Architectural Design & Research Institute Co., Ltd.
Light Consultant: Studio Illumine
Façade Consultant: Schmidlin
2016, China Hospital of the Year Award (Unbuilt)，Chinese Hospital Architecture & Equipment，Architecture Technique
2021, Zhejiang Province Survey & Design Industry Overall Excellence, 1st prize，Zhejiang Exploration& Design Association