Brick-louvered courtyard for Trivandrum hospital
Trivandrum-based Srijit Srinivas Architects has designed the Benziger Hospice Home, which was to design a hospice that provides free accommodation to cancer patients visiting local hospitals, that addresses their physical and emotional vulnerabilities.
Commissioned by the Malabar Province of the Order of Discalced Carmelite (OCD) affiliated to the Catholic Church, the facility consists of three stories, comprising 26 suites. There were challenges to be countered: the site consisted of a square front portion tapering to the rear; it is also located in a crowded setting that required adequate privacy measures.
A double-slanted feature wall forms the façade, which covers the recreation rooms across two floors with cantilevering over the ground floor. An ambulance entry is built from the front main gate leading up to the entry ramp, which is girded by a verandah, that features in-built brick seating integrated with trough planters. A service gate to the north leads to the kitchen and maintenance room via a supply path.
A central, landscaped courtyard is built on the ground floor lobby, with brick seating and louvered screen walls. Set in an enclosed area, the walls permit cross-ventilation and visual beauty across the cross-sections of the two floors.
The natural color and texture of brick louvers are accentuated by the interplay of light and shadows. A centrally-located dining space opens onto an external landscaped area, which has a large commercial kitchen. A common congregation space, an activity room and a recreation room are built with additional kitchenettes and tea stations on each floor. The director’s office and nurses’ station are located adjacent to the lobby, while the elevators and staircase allow easy visibility and access to the suites. Patient suites are located on the first and second floors, with each room having designated spaces for one patient and carers. Suites at the front have brickwork louvers. The built form is contained within a simple platonic geometry aiming to be classy without the distracting clutter of accoutrements.