Hong Kong Children’s Hospital received top accolade in Quality Building Award
Results of the Quality Building Award (QBA) 2020 were announced at the award presentation ceremony held earlier. The Hong Kong Children’s Hospital (HKCH), designed and built by the Architectural Services Department (ArchSD), won both the top Quality Excellence Award and the Grand Award of Hong Kong Non‐Residential (New Building ‐ Government, Institution or Community) Category. This time, the Director of Architectural Services, Ms Ho Wing-yin, Winnie, and Project Director of the ArchSD, Mr Li Kiu-yin, Michael, are invited to introduce the design and architectural features of the HKCH. Chairman of QBA 2020 Organizing Committee, Prof. Mok Kwok Woo, Peter, will tell us how the HKCH won the highest accolade.
Design with heart and care
The HKCH won the highest accolade this year. The Director of Architectural Services, Ms Winnie Ho, says she is very pleased that the ArchSD has won this top award, and it truly means a lot. Construction of the hospital has been a very complicated project involving the provision of various functions and services - on the one hand, the project team has to meet the needs of medical professionals and ensure smooth operation of the hospital; on the other hand, the team needs to think from users’ perspective to incorporate care, love and warmth into the design, in order to provide a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere for child patients, their families, as well as the staff so as to facilitate treatment and daily work.
A hospital that tells stories
Ms Winnie Ho says that thanks to the project team, the HKCH is elaborately decorated in and out with animal patterns and decorations, making it “a hospital that tells stories”. As child patients walk into the hospital, take the lifts and arrive at the wards, they are all the way accompanied and guided by animal patterns or decorations here and there. The soft colours of the patterns and decorations also help reduce their anxiety. In addition, different types of animals are featured on different floors. For example, there is a “monkey floor” and a “panda floor”. Apart from guiding child patients and their families to the right floors, the adorable animal patterns and decorations may also be used by medical staff and patients’ families for storytelling to help relieve the stress of child patients.
Overall greenery coverage of 40 percent
Moreover, the HKCH project received platinum certification, the highest rating, under Hong Kong’s Building Environmental Assessment Method Plus (BEAM Plus). Ms Winnie Ho tells us that, although the hospital is located at a site with a large area, many facilities have to be provided within it. Therefore, the project team worked hard to have climbing plants planted along the sides of the buildings to increase greenery coverage by vertical planting. The HKCH has an overall greenery coverage of 40 percent, exceeding the minimum requirement of 30 percent for the Kai Tak Development Area. Vertical greening can serve as a building’s insulating lagging, regulate temperature and humidity of the site, as well as filter dust and reduce noise.
More complicated to work at height
Talking about the challenges during the construction process of the HKCH, Project Director of the ArchSD, Mr Michael Li, says that about 5 000 workers worked together at the same time when construction was proceeding at full steam because the hospital occupies a large area of about 170 000 square metres. This scale can be said to be unprecedented for the ArchSD. Another challenge of the project is the construction of two sets of elevated footbridges. One set, spanning over 60 metres, is located at the top of the hospital. The other set is a twin-bridge with an upper and a lower deck that is more than 40 metres long on the second and third floors. After the relevant modules were transported to the site, they had to be lifted to their respective floors one by one for welding. Having to work at height to build the footbridges was a relatively complicated part of the project.
Gaining valuable experience from building a hospital
Mr Michael Li tells us that, from the beginning when they were building the children’s hospital, they had to improvise by trial-and-error most of the time. After the commissioning of the hospital, he has been told that medical staff and children consider that the medical services are running smoothly and that the animal motifs and soft colours can help ease or redirect negative feelings. The overall design of the children’s hospital gives people a feeling different from what they get in other hospitals. He says that he was inspired in many ways during the construction process, and will draw on this valuable experience when the ArchSD constructs similar buildings in future.
Building with heart and care
Chairman of QBA 2020 Organizing Committee, Prof. Peter Mok, says that they received a total of 49 submissions this year, the highest number ever. Among these submissions, the construction of a hospital is relatively more complicated. The ArchSD project team has created an environment similar to home in the entire hospital so that child patients may find it easier to deal with the pressure arousing from their illness. On top of that, the hospital is running smoothly thanks to an architectural design that fully accommodates the needs of a hospital. As the judging panel feels that all members of the project team have put their heart into the project and built the hospital with care, the grand award goes to the ArchSD.
Apart from the HKCH, other Grand Award winner projects are, One • ArtLane (Hong Kong Residential (Single Building) Category); On Tai Estate Public Rental Housing Development (Hong Kong Residential (Multiple Buildings) Category); Victoria Dockside (Hong Kong Non-Residential (New Building – Non-Government, Institution or Community) Category); and Tai Kwun – The Centre for Heritage and Arts (Hong Kong Building (Renovation/Revitalisation) Category).
(The video is in Cantonese)
(The video is provided by Development Bureau)