The results of Quality Building Award (QBA) 2020 were announced at the award presentation ceremony held earlier. The Hong Kong Children’s Hospital (HKCH), designed and built by the Architectural Services Department (ArchSD), has won both the top Quality Excellence Award and the Grand Award of Hong Kong Non‐Residential (New Building ‐ Government, Institution or Community) Category. This time, I have specially invited the Director of Architectural Services, Ms HO Wing-yin, Winnie, and Project Director of the ArchSD, Mr LI Kiu-yin, Michael to introduce the design and architectural features of the HKCH. Chairman of QBA 2020 Organizing Committee, Prof. MOK Kwok Woo, Peter, will tell us why the HKCH has won the highest accolade.
Transforming Communities - Build with Heart and Care
The QBA is a biennial award co‐organised by nine local large-scale institutes and organisations related to the construction industry. The year 2020 marked the 10th QBA with the theme “Transforming Communities - Build with Heart and Care”. Adhering to the people-oriented belief and emphasising the connection between the industry and the community, the 10th QBA has given recognition to building projects that have been enhancing the community with heart and care, as well as outstanding project teams demonstrating excellent teamwork.
Design with heart and care
The HKCH has won the highest accolade this year. The Director of Architectural Services, Ms Winnie HO, says she is very pleased that the ArchSD has won this top award, and it truly means a lot. Construction of the hospital has been a very complicated project involving the provision of various functions and services - on the one hand the project team has to meet the needs of medical professionals and ensure smooth operation of the hospital; on the other hand, from users’ perspective, the team needs to incorporate care, love and warmth into the design, in order to provide a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere for child patients, their families, as well as the staff so as to facilitate treatment and daily work.
A hospital that tells stories
Ms Winnie HO says that thanks to the project team, the HKCH has been elaborately decorated in and out with animal patterns and decorations, making it “a hospital that tells stories”. As child patients walk into the hospital, take the lifts and arrive at the wards, they are all along accompanied and guided by animal patterns or decorations here and there. The soft colours of the patterns and decorations also help reduce their anxiety. In addition, different types of animals are featured on different floors, for example, there is a “monkey floor” and a “panda floor”. Apart from guiding child patients and their families to the right floors, the amusing animal patterns and decorations may also act as storytelling materials for medical staff and patients’ families, which can help relieve the stress of child patients.
Overall greenery coverage of 40 percent
Moreover, the HKCH is a platinum certified project under Hong Kong’s Building Environmental Assessment Method Plus (BEAM Plus), which is the highest rating that is conferred. Ms Winnie HO tells us that, although the hospital is located at a site with large area, many facilities have to be provided there. Therefore, the project team has worked hard to have climbing plants planted along the sides of the buildings to increase greenery coverage with vertical planting. The HKCH has an overall greenery coverage of 40 percent, exceeding the minimum requirement of 30 percent for the Kai Tak Development Area. Vertical greening can serve as a building’s insulating lagging, regulate temperature and humidity of the site, and can filter dust and reduce noise as well.
More complicated to work at height
Talking about the challenges during the construction process of the HKCH, Project Director of the ArchSD, Mr Michael LI, says that 5 000 workers worked together at the same time when construction was at full steam because the hospital occupies a large area of about 170 000 square metres. This scale can be said to be unprecedented for the ArchSD. Another challenge of the project is the construction of two sets of elevated footbridges. One set of which, spanning over 60 metres, is located at the top of the hospital. The other set is a twin-bridge with an upper and a lower deck that is more than 40 metres long at the second and third floors. After the relevant modules were transported to the site, they had to be lifted to their respective floors one by one for welding. Having to work at height to build the footbridges is a part that is more complicated than the rest of the project.
Gaining valuable experience from building a hospital
Mr Michael LI tells us that, when they were building the children’s hospital at the beginning, they had to improvise by trial-and-error most of the time. After the commissioning of the hospital, he has been told that medical staff and children consider that the medical services are running smoothly, and that the animal motifs and soft colours can help ease or redirect negative feelings. The overall design of the children’s hospital gives people a feeling different from what they get in other hospitals. He says that he was inspired in many ways during the construction process, and will draw on this valuable experience when the ArchSD constructs similar buildings in the future.
Building with heart and care
Chairman of QBA 2020 Organizing Committee, Prof. Peter MOK, says that they have received a total of 49 submissions this year, the highest number they have ever received. Out of these submissions, the construction of a hospital is relatively more complicated. Because the project team has created an environment similar to home in the entire hospital, child patients may find it easier to deal with the pressure that comes from their illness. On top of that, the hospital is running smoothly thanks to an architectural design that fully accommodates the needs of a hospital. As the judging panel feels that all members of the project team have put their heart into the project and built the hospital with care, the grand award has gone to the ArchSD.
Apart from the HKCH, I would also like to congratulate other Grand Award winners, including One • ArtLane (Hong Kong Residential (Single Building) Category); On Tai Estate Public Rental Housing Development (Hong Kong Residential (Multiple Buildings) Category); Victoria Dockside (Hong Kong Non-Residential (New Building – Non-Government, Institution or Community) Category); and Tai Kwun – The Centre for Heritage and Arts (Hong Kong Building (Renovation/Revitalisation) Category).
13 June, 2021Back