Hospital Simón Bolívar, Bogota

Hospital Simón Bolívar, Bogota

Sandwiched between a busy main road and one of Bogotá’s largest favelas, Hospital Simón Bolívar is one of the city’s major public hospitals in need of modernisation. By densifying the site and adding a public plaza, the proposal for a new hospital becomes a critical piece of urban design – a healthy city addition.

Taking an active role in community building

This proposal for the new hospital takes into account the need to modernise and expand the existing building, but also the need to integrate the development into the neighbourhood. Through creating a public plaza that connects to the public transport system, Hospital Simón Bolívar becomes an openly accessible piece of urban design that  contributes to a safer city. The plaza can accommodate an open air marketplace to replace the precarious road-side stands, uniting the favela communities with the more affluent populations on the other side of the main road.

Clients: Nordic Investment Bank / Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Location: Bogotá, Colombia
Status: Feasibility study 2015
Area: 65,000 sqm
Visuals: White View

Shaping a sustainable future for Bogotá, brick by brick.

Localising global design principles

Different contexts require different solutions. Extensive primary research was conducted into Colombian cultures and attitudes. From gathering feedback from users in workshop groups, to taking notes during consenting patients’ medical consultations; this local insight shaped every design decision of the project.

Green space permeates through the entire hospital and grounds; each responds to specific microclimate conditions and designed to provide the most suitable ecosystem services for that area.

While it is easy to travel to the hospital, the main hospital building can only be reached by one inner thoroughfare that leads to the ground floor and basement level departments. By creating a new main entrance and public plaza at the first floor level for pedestrians and cyclists, ambulances and car arrivals can use the ground floor entrance. This allows for greater safety and efficiency in access, as well as the possibility of a vehicle-free public space outside the main entrance.

At the heart of the scheme lies an abundantly planted courtyard, accessible to all patients, visitors and staff. Sky gardens and terraces can be found throughout the hospital, inviting social interaction.

As building regulations prevents any extension outside of the site boundaries, the entire site is densified to accommodate the ambitious building programme. A new L-shaped tower volume will occupy the current arrival forecourt. When completed, hospital functions will decant into this new L-shaped tower. This ensures that there is no disruption to operational services while the existing hospital is demolished and remodelled to form the new teaching, outpatient and administrative building, as well as main entrance, public plaza, basement podium parking and gardens.

Six bricks of long-term sustainability

Reinvention: Materials from the demolished hospital will be reused in new ways. For example, the existing brick façade can be repurposed to build affordable homes.
Mobility: Pedestrian and cycle mobility is encouraged through linking the public transport system to the new public plaza.
Interaction:  A diverse number of green spaces are woven into and around the building, creating multiple opportunities for social interaction.
Wellbeing: Daylight, views out, greenery, low noise levels and privacy promote faster patient recovery and a calm environment for staff and visitors.
Resources: A combination of passive, natural and active strategies enhance resource efficiency in accordance with the highest level BREEAM / LEED guidelines.
Futureproofing: The hospital has been designed to adapt and reconfigure to future changes through intelligent spatial planning, giving rise to a resilient, futureproofed facility.

Drawing on decades of evidence-based research into wellbeing and patient recovery, greenery and daylight plays a central role in the layout of the hospital. The wards have been specifically designed so that every patient can see flowerbeds and treetops from their beds.

Contact & Team

Cristiana Caira

Cristiana Caira

Key account manager

+46 703 15 86 77

Bruno Manrique Carrera

Björn Bondesson

Elin Rittmark

Carl Molander

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