November 21, 2013

Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children and Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, two HKS-designed projects, were named on the Online Masters in Public Health’s list of the “30 Most Architecturally Impressive Hospitals in the World.”

Online Masters in Public Health’s ranking of hospitals from around the world is based on several factors ranging from aesthetics and originality, to patient comfort and engineering sophistication. 

“All of these hospital structures were built with the importance of aesthetics and patient environment at the forefront but are quite varied in their approach with architecture ranging in taste from simple, clean lines to elaborate works of art,” says researcher David Krug, who compiled the list. 

The Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children in Birmingham, Ala. is, in area, the third-largest children’s hospital in America. The facility’s shiny glass and white concrete façade is designed to be less frightening to children than a traditional hospital might be. The interiors of the various levels are uniquely colored and easy to navigate, while windows provide both great views and natural lighting. The hospital, which opened in August 2012, is the first in Alabama to receive LEED-Gold certification. 

“You never go into a project of this magnitude with the idea of winning design awards, because enhancing the care of patients inside is your prime motivation,” said Mike McDevitt, executive vice president, Children’s of Alabama. “The fact that this building is recognized as one of the world’s best-designed facilities and that the care inside is making a difference in children’s lives every day is fabulous. It is the effective partnership of our design and construction teams with our clinical leadership that made this facility so successful on both measures.”  

Although a hospital generally is not described as a fun place, Royal Children’s Hospital tries to make the experience less stressful for children. Local firms Billard Leece and Bates Smart – in partnership with HKS – provided the design for the hospital, which has a distinctive façade inspired by the leaves of a tree. The leaf-like features also serve as sunshades and range in color from green to red. Inside the hospital there is a giant aquarium, a large colorful sculpture and scenic views of the nearby Royal Park. Completed in 2011, the new hospital replaces the old Royal Children’s Hospital, scheduled for demolition in 2014. 

To view the entire list of the “30 Most Architecturally Impressive Hospitals in the World,” click here: 

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 Trish Martineck at

Posted in Health
Tagged 30 Most Architecturally Impressive Hospitals in the World, Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children, Royal Children's Hospital