January 9, 2014

Couva Children’s Hospital is the first of a new generation of patient-centered, modern hospitals designed specifically for the people of Trinidad and Tobago, two islands located at the southernmost tip of the Caribbean archipelago.

The 230-bed medical center, located on a 25.94-acre site five miles inland from the Trinidad Coast, includes a children’s and adult hospital with full inpatient services including dedicated emergency departments for both children and adults, women’s services including maternity, a burn center, rehabilitation services, pharmacy and outpatient clinics. A training building sits adjacent to the hospital along with a hotel and retail complex, which is part of a future phase.

“Couva Children’s Hospital is the first dedicated pediatric hospital in the country,” said project director Jason Schroer with HKS, Inc. “It will feature the most modern medical equipment and diagnostic capabilities within the island country.”  

The design-build project team includes HKS, Inc., which served as designer, architect-of-record and interior architect, structural engineer and medical equipment planning. The contractor is International (Caribbean) Ltd. Shanghai Construction Group (S.C.G.). TLC Engineering for Architecture is providing MEP services, Langan International Civil Engineering is providing civil engineering services, and Associates Landscape Architect is providing landscape architectural services. U.S.COST Global Construction serves as the cost estimator while Systems Design International provides food service and Healthcare Graphics Consulting provides signage and wayfinding.   

“The medical campus is designed to fit seamlessly within the surrounding landscape to take advantage of the site’s natural topography, views and existing tree lines,” said Schroer. “The building form and orientation responds directly to geography of the site.”

Rupert Brown, senior designer with HKS, notes, “The architectural concept for the new hospital will be centered on the directive to create a sustainable and dynamic design that reflects the culture and diversity of the islands. The fundamentals of tropical architecture will be reinforced by modern sustainable building techniques and will be evident in the design and planning of the facility.”

Key exterior and interior design aspects include:

  • Orientating the site to maximize views and controlled exposure of sunlight on the building façade.
  • Maximizing daylighting to minimize the use of artificial lighting, shown in evidence-based design studies to significantly improve the patient healing process and working environment and productivity of staff.
  • Incorporating operable windows in conjunction with the building orientation to allow natural ventilation and the distribution of outside airflow throughout the facility.
  • Integrating canopies and shading devices into the building design to enhance the performance of the façade while providing a more comfortable environment in gardens, walkways and drop off/pick up points for patients, visitors and staff.
  • Adding wellness gardens into the natural landscape of the site to allow for access to nature, which has been proven to improve the healing process and state of mind of patients during prolonged hospital stays.

“The new Couva Children’s Hospital will represent a community-focused, modern and accessible center for the health and healing of the people of Trinidad and Tobago unlike any healthcare setting on the island to date,” added Schroer.

HKS is ranked among the top healthcare architectural firms in the world by Modern Healthcare and BD World Architecture. Operating from 27 offices worldwide, HKS focuses on innovative healthcare design, process and delivery. The firm’s award-winning healthcare architecture includes 1,600 unique projects representing 78,000 beds and 166 million square feet. HKS projects have garnered numerous awards and coverage in worldwide publications. The firm’s healthcare specialists are highly respected international speakers.

For more information, contact Jason Schroer at jschroer@hksinc.com or Trish Martineck at tmartineck@hksinc.com.

Posted in Health