[FIRST LOOK] Nelson Mandela launched the Sheppard Robson and John Cooper Architecture (JCA) competition winning design for a new specialist children’s hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa on 31 July 2009
Sheppard Robson and JCA won the international design competition for a modern hospital, the proposals will be developed with local architects Gapp and Ruben Reddy (RRA). It will be a modern state-of-the art paediatric tertiary facility located on the Wits education campus in Parktown, Johannesberg.
The hospital will be a 200-bed, eight-theatre facility with future plans for expansion to 300 beds. It will operate in partnership with the Wits medical school as a primary base and will engage all medical training facilities across the region.
Speaking at the launch, Mandela, who turned 91 on 18 July, said the hospital was badly needed on a continent where millions do not live to see their fifth birthday: ‘This is not a luxury but a vital necessity that can no longer be delayed’.
Construction of the 1 billion Rand (about £470 million) hospital will begin in late 2010 and is expected to be completed in 18 months.
The architects explained: ‘The design centres around a secret garden around which all activity is based. The shallow floor plans enable much of the building to be naturally lit and ventilated with daylight concentrating into all areas – a highly sustainable design employing passive energy principles and exploiting the opportunity to use local labour and materials.’