Known for providing the
highest level of specialized health care in an integrated education
and research setting, the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and
Research Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia is one of the Middle
East's leading medical institutions.
Led by the Boston office of the internationally ranked firm of
Cannon Design, the hospital's expansion program evolves the medical
center's image, expressing its vibrant future, and cutting-edge
clinical care and research practices. The project consists of an
institutional master plan and design of four landmark buildings
featuring a world-class healing environment that provides
technologically advanced medical care for patients, and a
collaborative working environment for medical staff.
A rigorous understanding of the local culture and climate was
required for the project. To combat the region's high temperatures,
Cannon Design conceptualized a patterned glass façade that provides
subtle transparency and modernity. Working with Germany-based
OKALUX GmbH, a glass company specializing in façade glazing
techniques, the team engineered a glass panel with integrated metal
louvers that will control daylighting and cut down on heat
The façade is made up of three glass panels: clear glass with a
high-performance coating, horizontal louvered glass and a shadowbox
with a back-painted aluminum metal panel, which repeats throughout
the design. The louvered glass panel is engineered with the
horizontal integrated sun-controlled louvers made of polished
steel. The design defuses daylight and reduces glare while
maintaining a semi-transparent screen.
"The design is rooted in evidence-based research. Natural light,
external views and green spaces are incorporated while maintaining
privacy," says Design Principal, Richard Kuhn, AIA. "We created
collaborative spaces-formal and informal-to foster interaction,
exchange knowledge and create a sense of place."
All four buildings-the King Abdullah Center for Cancer and Liver
Diseases, the National Biotechnology Center, the Royal Wing, and
the EMS and Polyclinic Building-will feature this façade. The
904,000-square-foot, 300-bed Center for Cancer and Liver Disease
features inpatient nursing units, ambulatory clinics, diagnostic,
support and technical services. The 430,000-square-foot
biotechnology center will be comprised of a biotechnology research
facility, allied health training unit, multistory parking, and a
new gate and access road network. The 135,000-square-foot,
four-story Royal Wing will have its own helipad, access road and
evacuation tunnel, and is linked at the ground floor to the
existing hospital for instant access to the emergency department,
VIP outpatient clinics and medical imaging. A new block connected
to the existing hospital on all levels will include an emergency
department, polyclinics, family health clinics, lobby, visitor's
center, retail shops, technical/support facilities and helipad.
Finally, a powerhouse and service tunnel system will include a
194,000-square-foot powerhouse facility and 5,900 feet of tunnels
to contain service utility systems. The project will also feature
underground parking for 5,000 cars with convenient access to all
medical and research centers.
High-performance design reaches beyond the building envelope,
into the project's infrastructure and landscape design. Water will
be recycled for irrigation, and lightwells and sunken courtyards
have been incorporated into the underground parking structure to
bring in natural light and ventilation.
"Designing a project of this magnitude required solutions that
balanced a rigorous understanding of the local culture with the
harsh climate of Saudi Arabia," says Andre M. Aoun, AIA, project
principal with Cannon Design. "The image of the new complex needed
to express elegantly the cutting edge quality of care and education
taking place at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research
Center. The use of steel and glass were essential elements to our
design approach and to achieving this goal."
Construction began on the King Abdullah Center for Cancer and
Liver Disease Center in spring 2011, and is expected to be complete
at the end of 2013. Construction has also begun on the Royal Wing
and EMS and Polyclinic Building, and will be completed by the end
of 2014. Phase three, consisting of the National Biotechnology
Center, is yet to be awarded to a contractor.
The project was presented with the award for Best Hospital
Design (Future) at the 2012 Hospital Build & Infrastructure
conference in Dubai.
King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center,
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Architect: Cannon Design, Boston
Associate architect: Dar Al Riyadh, Riyadh
General contractor: Al Bawani Co. Ltd., Riyadh
Façade: OKALUX GmbH, Marktheidenfeld, Germany,