construction begins on perkins + will's ghana ridge hospital
construction begins on perkins + will's ghana ridge hospital construction begins on perkins + will's ghana ridge hospital
sep 03, 2015

construction begins on perkins + will's ghana ridge hospital

construction is underway on the largest hospital in ghana, designed by global architectural firm perkins + will. the 43,252 square meter (465,560 square foot) project has been designed in collaboration with miami-based americaribe to support the growing needs of the fast developing african country.


the vast building, accommodating 600 beds and more than 12 surgical theaters, will be home to numerous hospital services including public health areas, accident and emergency rooms, intensive care units and dental facilities. the project is the second women and children’s hospital in africa to be designed by perkins + will, preceded by the kenya women and children’s wellness center in nairobi.

construction begins on perkins + will's ghana ridge hospital designboom
the facility is the largest hospital in ghana
all images courtesy of perkins + will



to understand more about the project, designboom spoke with perkins + will design director patricia bosch.


designboom: can you start by introducing the ghana ridge hospital project?


PB: originally erected in the 1920s, the ghana ridge hospital is located in north ridge, ghana and primarily caters to women and children. since ghana is quickly developing, the ghanaian government sought to replace the hospital with a modern facility serving adjacent communities, as well as the accra region at large. the new structure is slated to be the country’s largest hospital for women and children to date and will provide flexibility for future upgrades as technology and expertise become more readily available in the country. the main design drivers were durability, ease of maintenance, building materials, and efficient systems.


DB: what is your involvement in the scheme, and how have you seen the project develop?


PB: the ghanaian government selected bouygues construction and perkins + will to oversee the hospital’s entire design process. as the design principal in charge, I coordinated the program layout in partnership with our planning principal jim bynum. we kept the layout simple to ensure optimal building operation and minimal maintenance. we also incorporated sustainable strategies, such as passive cooling, rainwater harvesting, condensate water reuse, light color exterior finishes with specified local sourced products, controlled daylight harvesting, natural light in all quarters and offices, and solar water heating. it is my hope and intent that the hospital will improve human and ecological health in the area.

construction begins on perkins + will's ghana ridge hospital designboom
the vast building accommodates 600 beds and more than 12 surgical theaters




DB: were there any particular requirements that you had to consider while working on the project? perhaps issues specific to central western africa?


PB: yes. because of the site’s lack of regular utility service and transportation infrastructure, the facility needed to be flexible, adaptable, and self-sustaining to ensure operational efficiency. we addressed these through a program that allows for optimal workflow and a design that ensures peak performance with minimal maintenance. for example, passively cooled breezeways, stairways, and public corridors, as well as naturally ventilated waiting areas, lower energy consumption in an area where electricity service is irregular, and create a healthy healing environment.


we also created a network of breezeways and ‘hospital streets,’ separating regular vehicular traffic from emergency vehicles, visitors, and public transportation. this, in turn, eases congestion and allows for easy navigation of the site. in fact, public transportation is integrated with a clearly defined hospital entrance that welcomes patients and visitors.

patricia bosch is design director at perkins + will




DB: you have said that the design was inspired by the kente cloth — can you expand on this concept and how it was applied?


PB: the kente cloth is a colorful silk and cotton fabric most commonly associated with the akan people in ghana. it’s a traditional part of their weaving culture that revolves around the use of patterning, layering, and vibrant colors. each color and weave has deep meaning and symbolism. in the same way, the hospital is unique in that it ‘interweaves’ ghanaian culture, program needs, site nuances, and various facility users.


DB: can you talk about the importance of the project’s sustainable design aspects, particularly in light of the hospital’s location?


PB: sustainable design aspects include rainwater harvesting, water reuse, controlled daylight harvesting, solar water heating, and the use of light colored exterior materials that have been locally sourced. the building’s envelope provides solar shading with large concrete overhangs and canopies, supported by brise soleils for glazing at a finer scale. the exterior envelope takes advantage of materials and assemblies that can be fabricated and installed by local tradesmen.

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