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California, USA

Kaiser Permanente Small Hospital Big Idea Competition


In collaboration with TBL


Kaiser Permanente






International competition

Only non-US entrant to make interview and the shortlist 2011 

A new model for small hospitals serving local communities.

Our competition entry was the only non-US submission to make the short list. The American health care provider Kaiser Permanente is known for its unique model of integrated care, usually based at a medical campus with a large hospital and supporting outbuildings.  In 2011 Kaiser Permanente launched an international ideas competition to explore the potential of the small, community hospital as a component in a wider health network.


Our proposal responded to the need for sustainable, patient-focussed and family friendly healthcare with the assertion that the art of care is as important as the science of treatment.


We designed a clinically efficient building, which minimises patient journeys byputting the patient as close as possible to treatment and diagnosis areas. This humanist solution places all the care and treatment in small scale, shallow plan buildings set in gardens and courtyards. It is capable of doubling or trebling in size in a rational fashion and can flex in day to day operation, proving adaptable in the short or medium term.


The design empowers patients and encourages them to become active participants in their path to recovery. They can control their personal space, choose the type of environment they want to recover in and the level of social interaction they prefer. They have full access to landscape and meditation spaces - an essential part of the healing process.


Fewer staff hand-overs can help in reducing clinical error and an excellent working environment contributes to a safer clinical culture.  Wherever possible, we eliminated the need for corridors and waiting spaces, reducing floor area and cost.


The design is genuinely sustainable, exploiting its climate and context to minimise energy consumption and maximise the use of passive energy. Courtyards and gardens provide shade and allow evaporative cooling as part of a solution that could achieve a near zero carbon solution.

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