Across the GCC, a significant number government and private-sector initiatives are under way to expand the crucial healthcare sector, in part, as a response to the growing population. Notable among these has been the Jahra Medical City, a Kuwaiti project that comes within state programmes to increase hospital capacity in the country by 60%.
The complex was inaugurated by HH the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, last week, in Al Qasr, reported Construction Week.
The development, designed by DNA Barcelona in collaboration with Engineering Consortium, was initiated in 2013, according to His Excellency the President of Financial and Administrative affairs in Amiri Diwan Mr. Abdul Aziz Saud Ishaq.
The $1.2bn (KWD365m) project features a 1,230-bed hospital, a dental facility with 115 rooms, and an administration building, Tarek Hamed Shuaib, chief executive officer of consultancy Pace, which worked with the project team, said.
The complex, which is organised around a central five-storey atrium space, also includes a women’s centre, a trauma centre, 32 operating suites, a hybrid computed tomography (CT) operating suite, and a hybrid MRI operating suite.
The outpatient facilities include 135 clinics with a 10-seat hyperbaric chamber — the only one in Kuwait. Jahra Medical City’s other facilities include a public car park and staff car park, both accommodating 5,000 cars and two emergency shelters, each with a capacity of 300 people, Shuaib added.
Commenting on the architecture of the complex, which comprises eight buildings, Shuaib said, “Most prominent [in the layout] is the main hospital building, which has a total built-up area of 440,000m2, and rises to 15 stories.
“The architectural design process started with a concept based on the introduction of nature to the internal environment. The purpose of this is to create harmony within the facilities, as a means of contributing to the treatment and healing of patients. Green areas and interior spaces play an active part in strengthening this direction of design, creating an atmosphere full of life in numerous spaces.”
The complex’s façade has been designed using “sunlight breakers as shading to control Kuwait’s direct, harsh sunlight” from impacting the buildings. According to Shuaib, this approach, “will manage and balance the exact amount of natural light required inside the building”.
He added: “This will create clear vision to pathways and internal movement circulation to provide a healthy internal atmosphere, especially when accommodating a large number of visitors in a hospital of this size.
“An additional design enhancement will be the spectacular views overlooking the neighbouring farms from the patient room windows, in all four towers, while maintaining necessary levels of privacy and tranquility required for patient recovery.”