National University Children’s Medical Institute (Un-Built)
Stage: Expression of Interest/Design Competition/Un-built/Invitation to Tender
National University Children’s Medical Institute (NUCMI) or NUH Kids is envisaged to be a special haven for patients, visitors and staff working within the NUHS campus. With its core programmatic base revolving around children, it needs to have a distinctive sense of place that engages the sensibilities of the young. Patients, parents and care-givers who have to come to medical facilities and institutions are inevitably usually beset with mental and emotional anxieties on top of the consideration for the physical conditions of the patient. The design intention for this institute aims to alleviate this stress by providing an environment that instils confidence in the patients and their families through a sense of place filled with quiet authority, whilst still being fully appealing and engaging with the young.
To achieve this, the design concept is based on a tree house. Tall columns soar above the wards, lifting NUCMI above the existing surroundings, akin to majestic trunks in the medieval forests and their dense canopies overhead. Intermediate interactive art sculpture installations amidst ‘floating’ platforms occupy the interstitial space between the ground and the medical institute floor levels. This “Activity” Zone provides a welcoming and appealing entry point for patients and their families arriving at the institute.