architecture / healthcare / educational / wits faculty of health sciences campus / chris hani baragwanath hospital
The proposed Academic Centre - due to break ground in early 2024 – will establish a much needed teaching, learning and administrative base for the students and staff of the Wits Faculty of Health Sciences stationed at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto, Johannesburg. Encompassing approximately 4860 m² over three floors, the upper ground level accommodates a pair of 50 seater seminar rooms, a pair of 100 seater seminar rooms, six dedicated spaces for clinical skills teaching and problem based learning activities, a lounge and reading room tailored for registrars undergoing specialized medical training as well as a library stocked with printed journals and medical reference books.
The first floor houses a cafeteria, a post graduate hub and office pods dedicated to various disciplines including pediatrics, family medicine, internal medicine, neuro-sciences, surgery, anaesthetics, occupational therapy, psychiatry, forensic medicine, radiation, obstetrics, gynaeoology and administration.
Architecturally, the building is articulated by means of a pair of splayed linear facebrick masses with a circulation spine running between them, connecting the various activities. A tapering atrium, naturally lit by means of clerestory fenestration, accommodates a communication stair extended to form a pause and rest area in the form of raked seating. The circulation spine links on either end of the building with an existing pedestrian network establishing connections to the existing Baragwanath Hospital facilities.