A Hospital in the North, At Last!

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A Hospital in the North, At Last!
by Lee Soo Khoong

There was much reason for residents in the northern part of Singapore to cheer on Sunday 28 Mar 2010 when the first phase of the new Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (or KTPH) opened its doors.

With the opening of the Specialist Outpatient Clinics (SOCs), the residents can very soon look forward to the new ‘hassle-free’ hospital to serve their healthcare needs.

CPG is proud to be the architects of the 550-bed hospital, the first ‘new generation’ acute care hospital after a hiatus of about ten years since Tan Tock Seng Hospital was completed.

I remember how we won the hotly-contested architectural design competition back in 2004 and where we strategised a new design direction by breaking some conventions of hospital design. Spearheaded by two young and enthusiastic architectural associates then – Jerry Ong and Tang Kai Vern, and underpinned by the wealth of experience of our Senior Healthcare Consultant, Robin Wong, we presented a compelling design scheme that adopted cutting-edge sustainable design principles and embraced the adjacent Yishun pond as part of the ecologically- and biodiversity-friendly philosophy that CEO Liak of Alexandra Hospital advocates.

In partnership with the American practice of Hillier Worldwide Architecture, our design was selected over the schemes put up by many of the major architectural firms in Singapore and their foreign partners. It was particularly satisfying for us at that time, because this project was not one that was handed to us on a silver platter – but one which we fought hard and long to win.

Today, we see the finishing touches on the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital – and the culmination of years of hard work by our architects and staff that stand testimony to the dedication and commitment of CPG. Kudos to all our staff, including the engineers and QS’s and also the project managers from PMLink.

The design of KTPH was carefully thought out to relate to the scale of the surrounding built environment comprising mainly residential apartments. The fragmentation of the blocks helped to create a more intimate scale that lends a friendly outlook to the fabric of the predominantly ‘heartland’ architecture around the site.

Through intricate detailing, the use of screens, sunshades and louvres, the massive 108,000 sqm hospital was designed to look light and airy. It sits very comfortably on its 3.4 Ha site and relates well to its surroundings. The massing of the various facilities of the hospital also takes reference to, and embraces the adjacent Yishun pond creating the feeling of a much larger site than it actually sits on.

Landscaping is an important integral part of the design, making KTPH very much a “hospital in a garden” with its lush tropical greenery and terraced gardens wind seamlessly with the architecture. Rooftops are well landscaped with areas set aside for community gardening and residents are encouraged to be a part of the greening process. There is even a durian tree at the 10th storey rooftop garden!

Sustainable design has also been an important consideration of the project, where the buildings are carefully organised to minimise solar heat gain, and orientated to maximise cross-ventilation from the prevailing winds. KTPH is designed to be 40% more energy efficient than all the existing hospitals in Singapore. Even as it was being constructed, KTPH won the BCA Green Mark (Platinum) award in 2009.

When it is fully opened in the later part of this year, KTPH will be a benchmark for other hospitals to follow. The 550-bed hospital stands prominently as a new patient-centric and hassle-free healthcare facility that will serve the needs of Singaporeans for many years to come. And we are proud to have been on the team of people who helped to make it happen!♦

Photo credits : Ang Siew Tiang & Nelson Garcia (Studio T) & Orville Inumerable (Studio Y)

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