Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital


Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital

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GAPP was tasked with originating a unique design that would create an environment that was welcoming, playful and family orientated, providing quality child healthcare in a natural healing environment.

Departing from the single-block massing, windowless corridors and deep floor-plates typical of many hospital designs, the concept proposed the creation of six wings connected to a central corridor running through the core of the building. The building is designed around a series of courtyard and garden spaces, allowing natural light and ventilation to flood into the building, presenting views over the internal courtyard gardens between hospitals wings and over the surrounding city. The design is predominantly horizontal in nature. Planning relationships were arranged with accessibility and privacy in mind.

The pronounced end wings of the building are a strong identifying architectural element. Hospitals are by nature internalised building types and the large glazed end wings provide a means of engaging with the city, with coloured glazing used to add a playful expression to these facades.

A series of workshops involving children, parents, and staff from surrounding hospitals were held during planning stages to inform the design of the internal environment. Colour, décor, and lighting serve to humanise spaces, creating interactive and engaging environments that aim to ensure the building is family oriented and child-centric in appearance.

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Johannesburg, South Africa


Nelson Mandela Children’s Trust

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