Nurses' dormitories at Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, designed by Plan Architect
The Association of Architects of Thailand (ASA) is presenting member Plan Architect's Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital nurses' dormitory project. The NPO Aoyama Design Forum (ADF) has partnered with the Association of Architects of Thailand (ASA) to publish articles.
Plan Architect decided to design the layout of the new dormitory to interact with 3 existing buildings in a way that creates an enclosed courtyard, separated from the crowded, busy atmosphere of the hospital. The building has 26 floors with 523 rooms. Most of the room suitable for 2 people with various facilities such as living area, library, canteen, washing room, and multipurpose room.
The ground floor of the building is an open space connecting the main road with the courtyard, metaphorically act as a gateway into this quiet and peaceful residential area. Regarding their research, most of the nurses prefer naturally ventilated rooms to air-conditioned rooms. Planting trees on the balcony are also popular among the nurses. Based on the above information, the main concept of the design to meet the needs conceived. By analyzing a typical dormitory with a double-load corridor arrangement, our team realized that there are 2 problems, lack of natural light and poor indoor ventilation.
To solve the above problems, they separate 2 sides of the building to make 2 single-load corridor arrangements with a gap in the middle. This design decision allows more natural light into the corridor and creates a ventilation chimney in the middle of the building that facilitates ventilation from basement to rooftop. We design a big air channel on the 1st floor and at the center of the building. And we also design another big air channel on the rooftop to create a stack effect, draws air from the basement up to the top. The design of the channel on the facade got inspiration from the "UNA-LOME DAENG", the original design of Thai Red Cross Society’s logo.
For the design of the room, we designed the entrance door to be a double door including a solid door and insect screen. When the solid door and the window at the balcony opened, the air from the hallway can flow through the room. The typical room layout is divided into 2 parts. The 1st part adjacent to the corridor is a sharing space for both roommates including a pantry and restroom with a sliding door to separate the area from the bedroom. The sliding door will create privacy for the resident when they decide to leave the solid door open to let natural airflow through the room. The 2nd part is the bedroom for 2 residents. Each bed placing on the opposite side of the room to create a private space for each resident while sharing the walkway in the middle leads to the balcony.
Since the dormitory is close to other nearby buildings, we then design the balcony to have a slated angle. This will avoid direct sightline to other buildings to maintain the privacy of residents. The zigzag balcony allowing more sunlight to the area which suitable for planting trees and drying clothes according to the needs of the resident. They choose aluminum as materials for the facade since they are durable and easy to maintain. This unique facade and balcony composition create the pattern of light and shadow that reflected the simple systematic design of the building while concealing various complicated functional requirements of the users.
About Plan architect
In 1975, Plan was founded by a group of architects that was bound together by a passion to create innovative and socially responsible architectural designs. They believed that a commitment to excellence could be combined with a commitment to Thai society. Plan Architect is always on the cutting edge of innovative design. In a constantly and rapidly changing world, research never ends and neither does the challenge of applying new ideas to new technology. The constant flow and exchange of ideas and knowledge as the hallmark of their team spirit. They are not only open to fresh prospective, different techniques and the wisdom of experience, they actively seek it out in each member of our team. Over the 40 years of our existence, Plan Architect has grown from a small studio to become a well-established business. The constant flow and exchange of ideas and knowledge is the hallmark of their team spirit'.