Borrowdale Trauma Hospital design
Modern new hospital building in Harare
Located in the heart of the Borrowdale residential zone in Harare, the Trauma centre was looking to expand its operations to a hospital with operating theatres and wards. Pantic Architects were engaged to take on the hospital design aiming to create a modern functional hospital building. Similar healthcare institutions in Harare and Zimbabwe have been deteriorating over the years and the clients wanted to create a state of the art medical facility to fill the void created. The hospital architect proposed to locate the new development would along Borrowdale lane as the existing buildings face Breach road creating a separate entrance from the Trauma section.
Green hospital design
The healthcare facility would house standard and VIP wards with en-suite bathrooms, as a complement to the Maternity theatre, operating theatres, ICUs, recovery rooms, and various complementary service areas including meeting rooms, technical rooms, toilets, etc. The hospital architects proposed a sustainable, green approach to the design. Emphasis was placed on the quality of internal spaces and individual patient comfort, thus speeding up recovery times and quicker pain relief. The whole hospital design centred around an internal green atrium, exposed to the sun and rain while also open to the patients. In it, natural vegetation would thrive together with a small running fountain. The views and enjoyment of these natural elements have been clinically proven to enhance recovery and improve wellbeing. The main circulation corridor and meeting rooms also give onto this atrium, allowing natural light to enter the hospital.
A clear separation of the operating areas and recovery zones improved efficiency and functionality, while at the same time helping patients understand that their recovery is proceeding and improving. The positioning of the various wards was carefully done while considering future noise generation from external and internal areas. External gardens and areas were also designed to be in the view of patient wards and accessible to recovering patients. The new hospital design was integrated into the existing trauma wing and critical care facilities that were built previously.
Specialised medical design
A fully-equipped maternity ward, together with two theatres, a water delivery room, NICU and accompanying staff rooms were placed in a separate wing of the hospital. Next to it is the ICU and ambulance admittance, recovery rooms, all monitored from the main nurses' station. As part of the medical design, the hospital design architects coordinated the various functions and services for the most efficient and functional flow of personnel and patients. optimising the positioning, sizes and interrelationships between the procedure rooms and wards.
Hybrid operating theatre design
The brief called for a hybrid operating theatre, the first of its kind in Zimbabwe. This surgical theatre is equipped with advanced medical imaging machines such as CT scans, C-Arms, and MRI scanners, that can be used during the actual surgical operation. This required special consideration in terms of structural, mechanical and architectural design to cater for more people than normal, allow the special ventilation systems to function perfectly, and cater for the additional weight imposed by the additional scanners and equipment. In addition, a separate control room needs to be provided for the specialist complimenting the standard rooms and equipment used in operating theatre design. Different light sources together with monitors and booms have to be fixed in the proximity of the operating table. At the same time, easy passage of imaging equipment has to be allowed. Lastly, a sterile column of air has to be projected onto the patient from above. The careful coordination of all the equipment and their structural needs was a fundamental part of the hybrid operating theatre design, taking in the input of multiple stakeholders involved. As for the ceiling space, the hospital designers made the same considerations for installations running through the slab to the operating table and equipment within the roof.
Natural elements in the hospital design
The theme behind the hospital design has been to emphasise and bring out natural elements both in concept and function as in the interior design. Views of natural vegetation, fountains, sky and external areas were complemented with wallpapers depicting calming forests and trees in the interiors. The VIP wards got preferential treatment both in terms of size, furniture as fittings and additional accessories. The hospital building design has been a huge success and together with the hybrid theatre has signalled a new era in healthcare, and the advances of healthcare architecture.