A modern hospital to contribute to the wellbeing of the residents of the island of Curaçao. History, climate and culture are important aspects of the design. The result is a familiar environment which soothes and contributes to healing.
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Curaçao Medical Center (CMC) is the name of the newest General Hospital on Curaçao. With this modern hospital, outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment, the government of the island wants to take healthcare to a higher level. The design reaches back to the history, culture, climate, environment and population of Curaçao in all its facets. A hospital that could only belong here, because there is only one Curaçao.
Stichting Ontwikkeling Nederlandse Antillen (SONA; Foundation for the Development of the Netherlands Antilles), on behalf of the government, contracted Ballast Nedam to build the hospital. EGM architects and local partner OeverzaaijerLyongo Architects collaborated to design the new construction. Sustainability and innovative solutions, resulting in an improved living environment and increased wellbeing now and in the future. This was the motivation behind the construction of the hospital. The result is a durable hospital with a Healing Environment, which can readily be adjusted and expanded to address future needs.
The hospital will be built in the historic neighbourhood of Otrobanda in Willemstad. It is close to the existing St. Elisabeth Hospital, which will be partially torn down to make room for new construction. The hospital has a double comb structure. The nursing department and offices are on one side, with a view of water and vegetation. The other side houses the three wings, with a "hot floor" and outpatient facilities. Sections of the building are situated around a central patio, like a small village around a square. The list of requirements - climate, fairly limited amount of space next to the existing hospital, and the surroundings - have resulted in a compact design.
The patio connects the building sections. Organically formed pedestrian bridges cross the floors and the area. With a great deal of daylight, lovely views, greenery, and shade, the patio is a large informal space to meet, with a Healing Environment. From this spot, the breeze flows through the building and helps cool it. A lovely environment for patients, visitors and staff members to escape temporarily from the hospital atmosphere.
The hospital is not a massive building, but its form, use of colour, transparency, and people-friendly size result in a welcoming atmosphere. It is a familiar and professional environment where the people of Curaçao feel at home. A hospital di nos (for us), and a hospital for everybody.
Photography: Studiorootz Photography, Roos Aldershoff Fotografie