EGM Architecten, in collaboration with OeverzaaijerLyongo, has designed the new building for Nos Hospital NOBO in Curaçao. This cooperation produces a hospital that matches the island Curaçao. A hospital that that responds in all aspects to the history, culture, climate, natural circumstances and the population of Curaçao. A hospital “di nos” (ours), or a hospital that should be for everyone, with a recognizable environment that calms and contributes towards recovery.
EGM Architects has chosen to design a double comb structure. The central patio is the binding element between the so-called ‘hotfloor’ and the nursing departments and office working areas. Nos Hospital Nobo is designed as a large village situated around a square - the central patio, with the various blocks built around it. The program of requirements, the impact of the outside climate, the relatively small plot and the environment are key to this compact design that follows the islands' contours.
The three distinct blocks are being connected by walkways with a green appearance. These are part of the Curaçaoan interpretation of the principle of healing gardens. The central patio is a large informal meeting space. The hospital is designed around this central protected patio: as an orientation point and as a reference to the floor plans of city homes. In fact, there are three stacked city home plans rotating around the patio, where the wind blows freely in and out of the building, taking the heat with it. In the patio and on the roof terraces we are bringing the landscape inside, like in a traditional patio in order to connect the sense of inside and outside.
The choice of location for specific areas in the building is based on the orientation to the surroundings. The accommodation buildings are on the north side because of the wind and the climate but also because of the orientation towards the water, the charming harbour buildings and the mangrove zone. Insofar as the view is concerned, the so-called hotfloor is on the “less interesting” side. The three different building elements - accommodation buildings, ‘hotfloor’ and central patio - each have their own characteristic facades, based on the function of the building and derived from various traditional principles.
The choice for the functional distribution of the hospitals' operations is also prompted by the impact of the outside climate on the building and the building’s orientation to the sun. In general, it can be concluded that the mass structure of the new hospital is relatively very modest. In addition, the construction is segmented and has a human scale.
These characteristics fit perfectly within the frameworks and preliminary conditions of the urban and landscaping vision on the area.
Nos Hospital Nobo is more than a hospital. It is a hospital that responds in all aspects to the history, culture, climate, natural circumstances and the population of Curaçao. A hospital that can only be there, designed by deduction, because there is only one Curaçao.
For more background information and a visual impression of the concept see More Info.
Artist impression. The images show exterior and interior design and the design process from start to end.
Read more about the assignment, our presentation and design decisions in our magazine.