Grand Paris Nord University Hospital
The Grand Paris-Nord University Hospital, a 21st century health icon, is a cutting-edge, human and efficient medical infrastructure, ideally designed to meet the growing needs of the Parisian metropolis in the decades to come. Generously open to the city, the hospital offers a clear and identifiable volume, which stands out as a landmark in the urban space. Its accessibility is reinforced by a reduced footprint. The compact hospital thus donates to the city a large planted area, an urban forest and a large mineral forecourt. The public space extends to its threshold, offering breathing space in the urban fabric, places of meeting, discussion and calm. Largely glazed, the hospital also opens up through its transparency and the visual links it weaves between exterior and interior. The presence of plants at different scales and at all levels of the building contributes, in addition to its undeniable curative role, in making this place a haven of serenity. This visual and physical proximity to an abundant flora, the possibility of being able to follow the course of the sun and that of the seasons, offers the residents of the hospital a wonderful allegory of the healing process. This framework of residence, work, or simple visit, places well-being at the center of the experience of care.
The roof of the hospital is a world of its own. Planted with many plant species and protected from the nuisances of the street, the garden it hosts is a refuge open to all, caregivers, visitors and city dwellers. Accessible from the hospital as from the city, it is a promontory that overlooks the surrounding buildings and provides a wide and unobstructed view towards a distant horizon. To see far, beyond the hospital, is indeed to look beyond our immediate environment, to think of the future, and to forget the time of a walk or a lunch, a sometimes difficult daily life. Its proportions, similar to those of the Jardin du Palais Royal in Paris, and its public character give the garden its remarkable dimension. Aerial and vegetal, the roof then becomes a place of abstraction, respite, an escape route.
The open, urban hospital is also a demanding healthcare machine, up to the levels of performance, adaptability and efficiency for which it is intended. The technology behind its design plays a key role in its ability to meet the health challenges of today and tomorrow. The superposition of equipped, neutral, reversible trays and abundantly lit with natural light allows a flexible and scalable spatial organization of services. This radical conception rules out any non-essential artifice and focuses its efforts on the adaptability of health equipment, both in real time and in the long term. Thus prepared, the Grand Paris-Nord University Hospital becomes a reliable tool in the hands of nursing staff to ensure the benevolent and serene care of patients. Building a hospital today is about making change a reality, and the Grand Paris-Nord University Hospital is its emblematic place. Staff numbers, patients and their condition, techniques and needs are constantly evolving. Movement and the unforeseen are the only invariants to take into account. Designed to perpetuate the inconstant, the Grand Paris-Nord University Hospital sports flexibility as a philosophy by being part of the city over the long term without ever ceasing to change or adapt.
In ancient Greece, the sanctuary of Asclepius attracted sick people from all over the country who came there for treatment. The medicine then practiced was based solely on the interpretation of dreams, but the sanctuary, in the heart of the site of Epidaurus, maintaining a close link with its wild environment and provided with cultural and sporting facilities, offered its beauty as a source of comfort and healing vector.
The Grand Paris-Nord University Hospital is a great opportunity to build a place that can embody this notion of primary beauty. Its design reflects the subtle agility with which the highly efficient and flexible treatment machine is reinforced by a generous human dimension. This hospital is the meeting place of know-how and emotions. An aesthetic, material and luminous architecture, with a measured openness to an urban and plant world, from which the experience of an environment conducive to curiosity, science, innovation and human solidarity is born. Charismatic and long-lasting, the Grand Paris-Nord University Hospital is above all a place of human interaction.
Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP)
Franck Courari (project leader), Maria Leopizzi, Corto Troude, Garcie de Navailles, Gerold Zimmerli, Hugo Viellard, Sara Adimi, Mounia Saïah, David Tessier
Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Michel Denancé (model)