Redevelopment & P M C
Hospital Sterling Orthopaedic Hospital & IVF Centre
This impeccably designed orthopedic hospital and IVF centre in Virar, Mumbai by Ar. Sachin J Indvatkar of StudioArch is a fascinating lesson in streamlined planning for seamless functionality.
As with all healthcare centres, a thoughtful design consists of three paramount parameters – facilitating navigation and accessibility, curated spatial configuration and ease of maintenance. With the design for the Sterling Orthopedic Hospital and IVF Centre, Ar. Sachin Indvatkar nails all three. The clients, Dr. Sachin Zambare and Dr. Renu Singh, kept their design brief simple and succinct, with a list of functions to be accommodated across the approximately 10,000 square feet area. Translating this simplicity into physical space, the principal architect manifests a design that espouses minimalism and a clean visual language.
A repurposed commercial building, the nuances of design start coming to the forefront from the eye-catching façade itself. Each level of the three-storey structure conveys a vastly different tale through the ingenious use of voids and walls, while simultaneously representing the configuration inside. Segregating functions according to levels, public functions are all relegated to the ground floor. It hosts the billing, reception, OPDs and emergency rooms. With clear wayfinding, this also helps visitors establish a clear dialogue with the simplified spatial configuration, which was the focal goal of the design.
As suited to a public zone, the ground floor interacts the most with the bustling streetscape. It opens up almost completely with a wide entrance and designed fenestration, provided a peek into what lies inside. Flanked by a medical dispensary, the entrance ensures engagement with the passers-by.
The first floor comes draped with aluminium louvers, adding a rhythm of lines to the façade that are sure to craft visual interest. Restricting the view from outside while ensuring that natural light flows into the interior spaces here, the thoughtful addition also adds a pop of colour to the elevation with a terracotta hue. Thirdly, it near perfectly captures the semi-private nature of the functions allotted inside. General wards and deluxe rooms outline the periphery, accessed through a central passage. A balcony flanks the street-facing side, reconnecting with nature and crafting a visual interplay of voids.
Operation theatres are relegated to the top floor along with a recovery room and intensive care units. In order to create a sterile environment, no exposure to the outside is provided here. This manifests as a blank wall on the façade, clearly underscoring the completely private nature of spaces inside. Not missing out on the opportunity, the designer uses this stretch to help build the brand, with clear and large signage that can be spotted from afar. This provides a distinctive character to the built form. Thus ingeniously carving out a distinction of spaces in the configuration inside as well as through the elevation outside, the designer re-emphasizes the hospital’s spatial logic across multiple layers.
Inside, the circulation for all sorts of patients – be it inward, outward or emergency – was specially thought about and carefully curated to ensure complete comfort and efficiency. Even the paths of doctors and nurses were given notable consideration to, marking out routes of least resistance. Each circulation pattern was thus planned with keen attention to detail, eventually leading to the finalized spatial zoning and area allotment that is highly intuitive for each and every visitor.
Inside, a language of minimalism and simplicity abounds. In consideration to the patients’ state of mind, no design flourishes that would overpower were employed here. “The patient should feel like this space and scale was meant for him,” says Ar. Sachin Indvatkar, when elaborating on the sense of homeliness that he has tried to achieve with the language here. Hence, eschewing all gaudy and loud touches, the timeless design spotlights functionality, bringing to life the tenet of ‘form follows function’. Warm wood complements the white-washed walls, infusing a dimension of warmth and softness into the spaces.
With distinct markers mapping the way, the principal designer addresses the concern of circulation thoroughly. Cool-toned artwork and accent shades of blue accessorize the spaces, bringing about a delightful melange of tones and hues that add a zesty vibrancy to the zones. This language of blues continues even into the operation theatre, a favourite of the lead designer. Spotlighting materiality, latest and the most advanced anti-bacterial vinyl sheets, which are generally used in European operation theatres, drape the walls and flooring of the space. With thoughtful note to the working intricacies inside operation theatres, the designer provides a bespoke solution for the anti-shock flooring, lining the entire floor with a conductive copper mesh under the vinyl sheets.
A design decision of using subtle powder blue shades rather than a striking white was taken by both the clients and the designer. When working for hours in an operating theatre, a stark white often becomes too bright and overpowering. To counter this, the muted blues find expression here, demonstrating the designer’s distinct attention to detail. State-of-the-art equipment along with provisions for future adaptability in terms of adding to the inventory are also incorporated into the design.
The clients took note of this nuanced approach to design, touting a lot of zones across the hospital as their favourite. But one that stood out was the IVF consulting room. Perfectly capturing the theme of the hospital and the calm mood of the design, the mural on the wall adds immense charm to this space. A warm composition of white-washed walls, wooden accents and muted natural hues, the room oozes serene silence.
As seamlessly easy and convenient as the planning is, the design execution was hardly an easy task at all. Another point to note in the entire design process was the fast turnover time. Restricted by both time and a strict budget, the principal designer still managed to pull off an almost 10,000-square-feet project within a bare minimum of 90 days. Beginning in the monsoons, environmental concerns were also manifold. Yet through these challenges, the design team pulled off the seamlessly functional space.
Succinctly putting forth the entire design in just two words - minimal and functional - the principal designer captures the essence of the entire design. A picture perfect example of what healthcare architecture should be like, this design stuns with its thoughtfulness.
Project name: Sterling Orthopedic Hospital & IVF centre
Total Area: Approx. 10000 sqft
Location: Virar West
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