The Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Center Cairo is a hospital that provides free state-of-the-art treatment for the people of Egypt. With striking views of the Pyramids of Giza, the site for the new hospital borders the prestigious Zewail City of Science and Technology, forming part of an integrated health and medical research zone. The centre is set within a lush, verdant landscape that seeks to optimise the overall patient experience.
The design of the 300-bed hospital responds to the needs of patients, their families and the staff that care for them. The main access to the site is from the south through a pedestrian plaza with an intimate shaded route that leads to a welcoming canopy that marks the entrance. The ground floor comprises comprehensive diagnosis and treatment facilities, including an accident and emergency department, a large outpatient clinic and rehabilitative departments. Several courtyards bring natural light into the deep plan building, while also aiding orientation. Supporting the innovations of the centre, the surgical department and intensive care units are co-located. This minimises the distance between ‘bed and bench’, maximising collaboration between researchers and caregivers working to deliver advanced, innovative care.
On the first floor, each of the eight intensive care units is designed to optimise recovery, with privacy and natural daylight. Each patient room on this level is oriented so that patients benefit from landscaped views and the newly formed lake on the northern edge. The state-of-the-art prefabricated operating theatres bring the best available care, with carefully planned flows to ensure high clinical safety standards. The hospital also features support spaces for families to stay while the patients recuperate as well as classrooms and other educational spaces for medical students to engage within an active learning environment. The design uses soft and warm colours throughout the interior, influenced by the psychology of colours and the Egyptian history.
A green terrace on the second floor – inspired by the local traditions of being outdoors during the cooler parts of the day – provides a vital spill-out space for the staff and visitors. The open terrace is interspersed with complementary built spaces containing a large staff canteen, children’s nursery and other collaborative meeting spaces for staff to share ideas. A series of single and shared patient rooms on the upper floors – each with expansive views of the surrounding lake and landscape – are sheltered by sculptural shell-like roof structures reminiscent of the feluccas on Nile.
Throughout there is a focus on natural light, greenery and views out, creating an environment that supports wellbeing. Rich, native flora has been introduced to the site, creating a ring of green interwoven with pedestrian paths and quiet contemplative spaces.