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13 January 2014

HOK Architects Learn Valuable Lessons from Designing International Hospitals


Mount Elizabeth Hospital

Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital in Singapore

Health Facilities Management’s cover story describes lessons learned from international hospital projects, including several examples by HOK’s Bill Roger.

Overseas projects often require spending a substantial amount of travel for US-based firms. As an alternative, international teams are becoming more adept at using technology to enhance project delivery.

“Bill Roger, AIA, ACHA, senior vice president and director of healthcare for HOK in San Francisco, says two of his firm’s recent hospital projects in Singapore, Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital and Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, ‘were a training ground for learning to do it efficiently and, to some degree, remotely.’”

“For these projects, HOK’s Singapore office was outfitted with high-definition videoconferencing equipment that allowed team members an ocean apart to interact, share graphics and modify drawings. The efficiency of this process went beyond saving jet fuel, Roger says; it saved time, too.”

Additionally, cultural differences can affect hospital designs in many ways.

“While working on Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital, HOK architects learned of a local superstition against pushing someone across a threshold feet first; patient rooms were designed to allow beds to be moved into the room headfirst, then turned into position on the headwall. Because fresh food is culturally important, each floor of the facility has its own small kitchen, instead of simply a nutrition room, to supplement the hospital’s main kitchen.”

Health Facilities Management