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Gateway location on the Red Sea. Abundant greenery. Traditional use of mishrabiya. The new Saudi German Medical City emulates these characteristics of the port city Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Four glimmering white towers create the gateway, lush vegetation is used throughout and the use wood screening for sun control provides an urban scale. Synergies between form, landscape and planning create a patient-centered environment while promoting the hospital as a leader in orthopedics and traumatology.
In developing the form and environmental response of the towers, the Medical City embodies three important concepts inherent to Jeddah. First, Jeddah is a gateway city on the Red Sea. Second, Jeddah is unique in its lush plant life and greenery. Third, Jeddah has a remarkable history of using wood shading devices, known as mishrabiya, for sun control. The towers embody these three concepts.
To form the gateway, a “continuous” white plane, moves across the landscape, inflected to become the vertical towers and the horizontal blocks. The plane is faceted at the two end towers, acknowledging arrival to the medical city. Rich greenery and vegetation is incorporated in gardens at the third floor plinth, on rooftops visible from patient rooms, at top level VIP suites and the street level which is lined with palm trees. Landscape and paving are used to designate this as a special district. For sun control, the north and south facades are glazed while the east and west facades are protected from solar gain by the white plane that wraps and covers. Rectangular windows are shaded by vertical wooden shades, which recall the wooden screens local to historical Jeddah. These provide an urban scale to the large towers.
To aid in circulation, the campus is zoned by inpatient, outpatient, women’s and pediatrics. A central atrium adjacent to the existing eight-story tower provides a dramatic arrival and orientation. Through innovative traffic planning, landscaping and internal programming, the front of the towers are raised on columns, allowing for wide, designated patient drop-off under each tower. In-depth studies of circulation provide for efficient access for patients, staff, service, and emergency vehicles.