Bangkok-based, Plan Architect has finished a new dormitory building for nurses at Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, located in the bustling city of Bangkok. This 26-floor building is characterised by its distinct zigzag façade, designed to improve cross ventilation inside the building to minimise the use of air conditioning.
Initial research by the studio concluded with the need for natural ventilation and access to greenery as the key requirement of the users. The 32,000-square metre facility has 523 twin sharing rooms that include support facilities like living area, library, canteen, washing room and multipurpose room.
The site selected for the new building was surrounded by four existing dormitory buildings, out of which three are high-rise and one low-rise. The low-rise building was demolished to be replaced by this new building.
The new configuration extends the area of inner courtyard and connects it to the main road through a porous ground plane, to escape the hustle bustle of the hospital complex.
To increase cross-ventilation within the building, the design breaks away from the usual double-load corridor type plan to use single-load corridor arrangement.
This is unusual in similar building types which are often governed by need for efficiency but initial studies by the architects concluded a general lack of natural light and poor indoor ventilation inside.
The new plan splits the building into two, inserting a ventilation chimney in the middle to fill the interior with natural light and ventilation from basement to rooftop.
To further assist with the cross ventilation, the architects have included two air channels on the 1st floor and in the centre of the building, which assist with stack effect, lifting hot air from bottom to top. The design of these openings is inspired by the original design of Thai Red Cross Society’s logo.
The air channel in the middle of the building doubles up as the recreational space for the nurses, which is envisaged as a big green space. This is an essential design element to provide inhabitants access to Nature while providing views over the city.
The interiors are carefully designed to increase a sense of comfort and privacy for the occupants. The rooms are divided into two parts– a sharing space including pantry and restroom with a sliding door to separate from the main bedroom.
“The sliding door will create privacy for the residents when they decide to leave the solid door open to let natural airflow through the room. The 2nd part is the bedroom for 2 residents. Each bed placing on the opposite side of the room to create a private space for each resident, while sharing the walkway in the middle leads to the balcony,” explains Plan Architect.
To increase privacy and natural light inside the rooms, the balcony has been designed at a slated angle. This configuration helps avoid direct sightline from nearby buildings while providing space for drying clothes and planting trees.
The façade also includes aluminium sunshade with a perforation to conceal untidy elements such as drying rack, air conditioner, condensing unit and washing machine.
Plan Architect has succeeded in developing a sustainable dormitory building which keeps its occupants’ comfort and wellbeing at the forefront. Through logical planning and intricate façade design, this building represents a new model for co-housing in Asia.
Project Name: NURSE DORMITORY CHULALONGKORN MEMORIAL HOSPITAL
Office Name: Plan architect
Completion Year: 2021
Gross Built Area (m2/ ft2): 32,000 sqm
Project location: Patumwan, Bangkok
Lead Architects: Nitisak Chobdamrongtham, Apichai Apichatanon, Wara Jithpratugs, Naphasorn Kiatwinyoo, Nathida Sornchumni
Lead Architects e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Credits: Panoramic studio