Our guest editors, Alexander Hahn and Henry du Plessis, reveal their latest project, a multi-tenant medical facility.
“Medical insurance companies, and the plans for national health insurance, have started a big drive to move some traditionally acute healthcare functions to sub-acute facilities and day hospitals, in order to save costs.”
One of these is currently being developed in Morningside on Rivonia Road. A 13 000m², multi-tenant medical facility, it will almost be like a mall offering various healthcare services.
The ground floor will host a major pharmaceutical supplier, as well as a non-surgical skin rejuvenation practice.
On the first floor, there will be a female clinic, a radiology department and an oncology centre that provides chemotherapy and radiotherapy, with two bunkers housing linear accelerators for strong radiation therapy. These bunkers have 1,5m-thick walls to keep the radiation inside and once completed, will have added an unbelievable 600 ton load on the structure.
The third floor will have doctor consultation rooms and a 30-bed subacute facility, where patients can stay anything from two days up to three months.
A 20-bed day hospital and operating theatres for procedures will be situated on the top floor.
All these facilities will support each other in terms of equipment and services.
1/3 of water comes from the site
When digging the foundations, a lot of underground water was discovered, so a sub-soil drainage system was installed to collect the water. This water will be filtrated to make up about a third of the building’s usage.
The facility has a 24-hour water backup as well as full generator support for electricity and an extra backup for the theatres.
The building has a north-south orientation with the day hospital ward on the south and doctor consultation rooms on the north. As little as possible windows were inserted on the western side and Brownbuilt 406 facade cladding was specified to absorb as much of the heat as possible.
Form follows function
“It is unbelievably intensive to do a multi-tenant medical facility like this, since you don’t just have a single point of contact. It is an interesting challenge.
“We are both artistic people, but also strictly technical in terms of coordinating services. This kind of building is not a sculpture – its purpose is most important. If we can also make a sculpture out of it, great, but the bottom line is that it is a functional building that must work and remain serviceable even if something goes wrong.”
Captions Main Image: The Northern facade utilized low E glazing as well as sun screening to minimize heat gain.