Addressing the need for specialized rehabilitation and long-term care hospitals in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia, this hospital is designed as a micro-village that embraces nature and the surrounding landscape. The master plan takes its inspiration from the Al-Ahsa region’s natural landform of an oasis, while the building design fosters healing through its connections to nature.

The interior environment for the two interconnected buildings — a three-story rehabilitation center and a 15-story inpatient tower — incorporates sustainability and healthcare design best practices, promoting wellness and integrating evidence-based design paradigms. The rich and varied palette of wood, stone, and glass, combined with the building form, create a welcoming, healing environment and blur the lines between hospital and hospitality. Ample space is provided to accommodate families throughout the healing process, making the patient journey safer, and with improved outcomes. Cultural sensitivity influences all aspects of the design process.

Patients and visitors will arrive through a hotel-style lobby with ample waiting areas flanked by retail outlets, including a pharmacy and dining, as well as a hanging garden and water features. The double-height volume and clear layout will allow visitors to navigate the facility intuitively. Patient rooms enhance the patient and visitor experience with space for families and loved ones to visit and connect socially, and with views to the local steppe landscape.

The 24-bed inpatient tower is efficient and functional, setting the framework for a universal model of care. Each room is acuity adaptable, allowing the facility to flex and accommodate change.

Project category: Unbuilt/conceptual design

Chief administrator: Malek Al Moosa

Firm: HDR,

Design team: HDR (architect); DAR Engineering (engineer)

Total building area (sq. ft.): 610,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: 148

Total construction cost (excluding land): $90 million

Completion: 2021 (est.)