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Aadhaar Hospital at Kolhapur by Architect Shirish Beri

Text and images: Architect Shrish Beri

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This hospital is a joint venture between D. M. healthcare group from Dubai and the private Aadhar nursing home from Kolhapur. Both, Dr. Azad Moopen from D. M. healthcare and Dr. Damale from Aadhar conveyed their intention of creating a highly functional, state of art 200 bed multispecialty hospital with a possibility for future expansion on a tight urban site. When I explained to them how the quality of architectural spaces with natural light, ventilation, plants and human interaction could become catalysts in the healing process, they gave me a free hand at designing as long as the functionality and economy was not compromised.

This resulted in a compact rectilinear built form with all major functions organized around a bright, triple height, landscaped atrium space. From outside too, the building steps back, thereby creating landscaped terraces in front. Having designed a number of hospitals earlier, my team and myself were aware of the importance of the appropriate planning of the multifarious services in the efficient working of the hospital. The complex demands of the different functions had to be understood and satisfied in the overall context of the whole hospital. The network of medical gasses, computer data lines, CCTV, telephone lines, HVAC pipes and ducts, electrical cables, fire fighting system, water (of different levels of purity) and drainage lines, the movement of dry and wet garbage, sterile and non sterile materials, raw materials, cooked food, blood / urine samples and their test reports, dirty and clean linen, circulation of staff, doctors, patients, visitors and so on had to be planned simultaneously so that they did not clash with each other. The clarity in this network of services and circulation would contribute tremendously to the desired hassle free working of this hospital.

The initial major issues during the construction of this building was the poor black cotton soil upto 6m depth. Later, the day to day coordination required between the thirty eight agencies working at the site was very important as each one was in some way dependent upon the other. While putting all these measurables in place, it was important not to overlook the quality of the general ambience to bring about that immeasurable sense of joy, faith and well being. Thus the well ventilated, sky lit arrival atrium with plants, reception counters, waiting and circulation lobbies. A special meditation hall has also been provided in this lobby to bring about psychological comfort. The broad overall floor wise functionality has parking and other service functions in the basement. The ground floor has the arrival lobby, O.P.D, caf, diagnostic and casualty department. The remaining O.P.D, dialysis, central kitchen, dining, central sterilization, doctor’s lounge and some beds are on first floor. The second floor has the operation theatre complex, cath lab and a large I.C.U. The remaining beds in the form of general wards, special rooms and suites are located on the third, fourth and fifth floors. This functional organization seems to work pretty well for various reasons. The building fade responds to the sun and rain with shading protective screens. This fade treatment also helps in concealing the multiple service pipes.

 

The shadows of these screens made of the powder coated M.S rectangular tubes makes different interesting compositions at different times of the day. Another important feature of the external fa?ade are the planters that act as parapets on all terraces. The tonal granular heritage finish ensures minimal maintenance costs. The hospital has solar hot water system and an efficient sewage treatment plant. Drip irrigation is employed to save water. The heat from the A.C heat recovery system is also used. Due to good natural light and ventilation, air conditioning has been restricted to essential areas only and artificial illumination is not needed during day time. A patient on entering the hospital commented ?I have already started feeling better?; whereas a doctor said that it was a joy to work in such a work environment. The design ensures easy reachability, connectivity and visibility that allows for better supervision and maintenance. This hospital is setting a new trend in healthcare design in midsized cities in India.

 

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