Case Study: Nadd Al Hamar Health Centre
Background detail on Tangram's 80,000 square foot Dubai health centre
This 80,000ft2 health centre in the Nadd Al Hamar area of Dubai will cater for some 10,000 local residents, providing out-patient care, including general medical examinations and dentistry. It is one of two medical centres currently under construction in northern Dubai, and was designed over a one year period by Dubai-based consultants Tangram.
Built on a plot in the centre of a primarily Emirati residential area, the Nadd Al Hamar clinic is part of a new drive from the Dubai Health Tangram has designed a similar project in Al Mizan, and another clinic in Al Barsha.
The concept behind all three of Tangram’s Dubai clinic projects is ‘intuitive way-finding’, whereby patients feel naturally guided around the hospital and find it easy to locate their desired service.
This is achieved by centering both clinics around courtyards, and planning corridors on a figure of eight plan. The building is also able to make the most of natural light, reducing the electricity demand on artificial lighting.
“The project is technically very intensive, in fact hospitals are the most difficult buildings out there in terms of design and planning – especially in terms of MEP,” explained project manager Ahmed Amin Mohamed. He said that a typical hospital building spends 30% to 40% more on mechanical systems than an office development.
A huge part of the cost is the air conditioning, which has to be highly hygienic, as well as water use and waste disposal, where hygiene regulations play a pivotal role in overall design and concept.
Lighting plays a key role, Mohamed said, particularly in terms of intuitive way-finding. “At the end of every major corridor there is a window or opening and people are drawn towards the light, then they reach the corner and they’re orientated towards the right way to go.”
Tangram has used 50mm insulation throughout the building to keep in cool air and save on air conditioning, which was a key objective of Dubai Municipality. “The municipality are very strict about insulation and the simplest and the most enduring way to save energy is through insulation.”
Mohamed said, the aim with all three clinics is to make them feel light, airy and open. “A lot of health centres you see are dark rabbit warren-type buildings. It’s a simple point, I know, but I don’t think there’s an architect in the world that would disagree with that.”