A new children’s hospital in Kurdistan won a prestigious international design award at a ceremony in Boston on July 9th. The hospital, which was commissioned by the Kurdistan Regional Government, will be the first in Kurdistan dedicated to the treatment of children.
The vision for the children’s hospital in Erbil, capital of the Kurdistan Region, was conceived by Dr Rang Shawis, a Kurdish paediatric surgeon in the UK. The project was initiated with the support of former Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and is now breaking ground.
Dr Shawis, who attended the award ceremony, said:
“This award given by a body of architectural peers is a special recognition of the innovation and the design standard of the facilities. The hospital is a much-needed facility in Kurdistan. I wanted to use my experience and contacts in medicine to be able to give back to my people. In order to do this and provide a high quality care for children a base with international standard is needed from which to begin – the hospital is a practical way to actualise this.”
The award was given to Make Architects and is the first to be presented to a design for a hospital in Iraq. Mr Gary Rawlings, representing the project’s architects team at Make, said that he became interested in the plan because “Iraq has a high infant and childhood mortality rate and they don’t have a children’s hospital. This will be the first tertiary referral paediatric facility.”
The hospital will improve the standard of care for children in the Kurdistan Region. Construction has started and the hospital is expected to be completed by December 2013, and fully operational during 2014. Referrals to the hospital will be made by the Ministry of Health and children’s charities.
The complex includes a 120-bed main building and support buildings including a hotel, staff accommodation and a supermarket. The three-storey main hospital provides 56 single rooms, four 6-bed bays and 20 VIP rooms. The clinical facilities will accommodate three operating rooms, an emergency department, an imaging department, specialist outpatient clinics, a paediatric and neo-natal intensive care unit and a women’s hospital.
Make Architects received the award from the International Academy for Design and Health at the 7th World Design and Health Congress in Boston, US. The award was in the Future Health Project category, for hospitals that are yet to be built.
The criteria for the award are that the design should recognise the changing role of hospitals within the wider healthcare system, and must have a 'salutogenic' vision for healthy environments (environments that support health and well-being), and a vision that addresses anticipated socio-economic challenges.
The International Academy for Design and Health is a non-profit organisation dedicated to researching the interaction between design, health, science and culture. It was founded in Sweden in 1997.