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The First People's Hospital by HMC Architects and Shunde Architectural Design Institute

Shunde District of Foshan, China

Renderings by HMC Architects and Shunde Architectural Design Institute


Shunde District of Foshan, China

Recognizing that efficient health care starts with effective design, the Chinese government held a design competition that invited teams to compete for a 2,150,000-square-foot hospital project: The First People’s Hospital in the Shunde District of Foshan, China.

The winning concept, designed by HMC Architects and Shunde Architectural Design Institute, integrates Eastern medicine and culture with Western innovation in health care planning and design to serve 6,000 outpatient visits per day.

The design itself combines a series of organized buildings linked by a dynamic, curved spine element, which creates a grand interior promenade and “eco-atrium,” connecting and harmonizing the elements of the hospital. A tower intersects the spine and marks the location of the main plaza and serves as the symbolic heart of the campus. The curving spine structure and main tower work together to organize the site into four distinct quadrants: public access, outpatient services, support space, and quiet zone. The separation of these functions serves to avoid conflicts, improve privacy, and enhance wayfinding.

By incorporating indoor and outdoor green spaces and healing gardens, the campus honors both Eastern and Western ideas regarding the therapeutic properties of nature and provides places for patient healing, family gathering, and privacy.

Local materials and products used to construct the facility will help stimulate the local economy and add to the sustainable attributes, which include recycled water features for cooling. The water features also serve to mask ambient noise and provide visual comfort for patients.

The core, shell, and major interior spaces are expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2012. For more information, visit