Throughout history, hospitals worldwide were predominantly horizontal. However, the economic, health and urban scenarios of the past eight years demanded new alternatives to absorb the growing demand for medical care - especially in health insurance plans, a need that has intensified even more with the pandemic of COVID-19.
Among the main solutions is the adaptation of pre-existing buildings, not necessarily designed for hospital use. Reuse has advantages such as: sustainability, agility in occupation and start of operation, proximity to centers urban areas, use of technology (in the case of more modern buildings), and so on. The transformation also presents challenges: a thorough planning is necessary so that the verticalization does not impair hospital functioning and that sanitary and health standards security are fully met.
A successful example is Hospital Sancta Maggiore Morumbi, from Prevent Senior healthcare insurance company, in São Paulo. One of the world leaders in healthcare architecture, global architecture and design studio Perkins&Will developed the project that allowed the transformation of a modern corporate tower into one of the most advanced and innovative hospitals in Latin America.
The hospital was implanted in a Triple A corporate tower with 31 slabs and 24 floors, with about 1.200 m² each - adding up to 24,000 m² -, in addition to four garage levels, ground floor space with triple height, ten elevators and helipad, totaling a 41 thousand m² built area. The recent construction, combined with the high standard of the building, collaborated actively with the adaptation project for hospital use.
“One of the main challenges of the project was the adequacy of escape routes, whose characteristics did not meet the criteria for hospital use,” says Lara. The rating of excellence tower eliminated the need for major internal infrastructure adaptations. “The technology of building also made it possible to install tablets on panels located next to the doors of the inpatient apartments and integrated with the Medical IT system, collaborating with the work of the medical team”, she says.
Other original configurations collaborated with design strategies to provide well-being. The wide space of the hall facilitated the creation of a free movement of people and the installation of green walls bring the benefits of connecting with nature. Floor-to-ceiling frames allows the entry of natural light and access to the view, which directly collaborate with the reduction of stress and depression in patients, companions, and collaborators. The pre-existing helipad in the tower allows trauma care and the transport of patients between units.
Hospital Sancta Maggiore Morumbi has several innovative features that make it a reference in medical care. The inpatient apartments and wards have 184 beds, all equipped with the amount of gas and electrical outlets necessary for intensive care. “The flexible beds prevent the patient from having to be moved in case of need for ICU care, in addition to increasing the capacity of ICU beds in the event patient surges”, says Lara.
The hospital also has surgical centers dedicated to the hospitalization floor, crossing of flows in elevators decreasing the possibility of nosocomial infections beyond the humanized aspect where the companion waits for the family on the same floor. “In the event of an outbreak infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, the possibility of isolating sectors and floors”, Kaiser explains.