The Design Of UKZN’s New Health Sciences Campus and DoH Hospital Complex is the Talk of the Town

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Addressing the architectural companies about local
 health challenges were (l-r) Professor Rob Slotow;
Professor Richard Hift; Dr Hugh Gosnell; National
Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Gwen Ramokgopa;
Professor Alan Dilani;  Dr Massoud Shaker,  
Advisor to the National Minister; and Professor
Malegapuru Makgoba.

Six architectural companies have been shortlisted from a total of 20 entrants, to compete in producing ‘a winning design’ for UKZN’s new health sciences campus and the Department of Health’s new hospital complex. The project is one of six high priority flagship projects commissioned and managed by the National Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi.

In September 2012, the competition was launched at UKZN by Dr Motsoaledi and the CEO of the institution funding the competition, Professor Alan Dilani from the International Academy for Design and Health (IADH). The brief given to the companies at this meeting was to produce a design that would encompass the ideals of former president Nelson Mandela. The six successfully shortlisted groups are expected to submit their designs to the IADH at the end of May 2013.

The shortlisted groups are Royal Haskoning and Dutch Health Architects, Salutary Design Collaborative, Osmond Large Architects and partners, Elangeni Group, Aceso Alliance and BVN Donovan Hill, DBJ and Desingworkdop.

Dilani said these were highly qualified groups of local and international talent that would implement their knowledge ‘here’. He said the success of the new medical teaching hospital would be the benchmark for the other 5 flagship hospital projects and others on the continent.

Dilani cautioned the designers to pay attention to the physical infrastructure as well as the smooth running of the new hospital once it is completed. He said complex knowledge will be needed to come up with the best solution.

The entrants were led by academics on a tour of the College of Health Sciences facilities including the HIV Pathogenesis laboratory, the Medical Biochemistry laboratory, the Dissection Hall and the PPS Skills Laboratory. Dr Hugh Gosnell, CEO of King Edward VIII Hospital also took the teams on a tour of the hospital which is one of the tertiary hospitals in the province, partnered with UKZN’s College of Health Sciences.

Professor Richard Hift, Dean and Head of UKZN’s School of Clinical Medicine, said the College of Health Sciences (CHS) maintained its vision to be globally recognised for excellent health sciences research, education, training and clinical practice which is relevant to the local context and undertaken in a collegial and effective environment.

Hift said the existing medical campus had a strong historical legacy, politically and socially. He said the new hospital would provide an ideal setup for furthering excellence in clinical care which promotes the ethos of modern professional training in way that is in holistic, comprehensive and multidisciplinary; especially if this is achieved in an efficient and cost effective way.

‘The new campus needs to be unified, efficient, fit for purpose and able to preserve the natural and historical environment of the University.’

Present to congratulate and inspire the design groups were: Dr Gwen Ramokgopa, National Deputy Minister of Health; Professor Malegapuru Makgoba, Vice-Chancellor of UKZN; Professor Rob Slotow, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for CHS; Mr Charles Poole, Executive Director for Physical Planning and Operations at UKZN; and technical advisors from the National Ministry of Health.

Winners of the competition will be announced at 9th Design and Health World Congress and Exhibition which will be held July in Australia. This will be followed by a congratulatory ceremony which will be held for the winning group on Nelson Mandela Day, 18 July, in South Africa.