On the edge of the town, Douai’s imposing hospital complex (180m × 80m) reigns like a welcoming palace between town and country. Enhancing the environment and constituting a curative amenity for patients, the redeveloped gardens are reminiscent of a château’s driveway. This axis reinforces the symmetry of the building and the centrality of its position. It leads to an entrance forecourt designed like an urban space in its own right, with all necessary facilities: drop-off point, bicycle shelter, information posts, floor lighting, benches, outdoor heaters, film projections onto the entrance hall facade, etc. This transition space between exterior and interior is protected from weather by a large suspended canopy, glazed, and screen-printed with a reflective, colourful pattern that reflects the garden and activity on the forecourt.
This compact monospace constitutes a form that is complete but never closes, leaving openings, ruptures for satellite extensions, interiorising exterior spaces, producing modalities for an overlapping between exterior and interior. It does not rise above four floors in order to preserve the benefits of the internal courtyards that ensure daylight and natural ventilation. The glass of the facade is screen-printed with a geometric lozenge pattern, a reference to the varnished bricks of the region. The silver diagonals intensify towards the top of the building, gleaming like a one-way mirror in alternance with the black glass. This contrast of elements that are present/absent, blurred/crisp, gives the building an evanescence that dematerialises and softens it. Inside the building, the atmosphere is reversed, the facades of the internal courtyards are finished with a skin of resin concrete in terracotta tones that give a pinkish light.
500 beds of obstetric surgery medicine, complete technical tray, 11 operating rooms, 10 radio rooms, birth area, hemodialysis 24 stations, bone surgery and 40,000 m² of outdoor spaces
Centre Hospitalier de Douai, DDE du Nord (operation supervisor)
Olivier Contré (competition, APS project manager), Christian Chopin (studies and construction project manager) and Abdelhafid Bairi, Astrid Beem, Catherine Bonnier, Yvan Bourgeois, Arnaud Bruyelle, Florence Canal, Fiona Copstick, Julie Doubesky, Jürgen Fallert, Karine Grimaux, David Hingamp, Michal Bartek Kozielewsky, Jacques Lévy-Bencheton, Vincent Mégrot, Maria-So De Noronha, Camille Nourrit, Ghislaine Picard, Lionel Renouf, Lydie Vega-Sanchez, Maria Scicolone-Ingala, Magdalena Sroczynska, Angela Tandura