Ryue Nishizawa, Hiroshi Senju Museum

Here we are again with this is a ______ but imagine if it were a hospital/clinic. Part of the goal of this blog is to encourage a loosening of the rigid healthcare building typology by infusing it with ideas from other genres of building. Healthcare designers are, largely by practical necessity, tied to a rather specific and stale typology. While certain elements of healthcare are fixed, there’s room for exploration and experimentation architects and administrators often fail to creatively engage with. As a blogger, I get to dream big. This is a museum in Japan, dedicated to painter Hiroshi Senju, but imagine if it were a hospital. (Bonus fact: Senju’s large scale paintings of waterfalls would, coincidentally, be stunning in healthcare environments.)

Back to the design of the museum. Japanese architect Ryue Nishizawa designed the single story building in collaboration with Senju. The most prominent feature are the four gashes in the space, which allow lush gardens and natural light to insert themselves into the very core of the building. There are over 150 different species of plants growing on the property. With all the discussion of the importance of sunlight and connection to nature in healthcare design, perhaps it’s time to look beyond the window and the traditional healing garden and into a more revolutionary approach that allows nature to more brashly infiltrate a space. From archdaily:

The floor gently follows the pre-existing contours of the land, subtly swelling and dipping throughout the gallery. A series of organically-shaped light wells puncture through the roof, injecting pockets of greenery within the interior. Deeps eaves, silver screens, and UV-cut glass panels control the amount of daylight intake while allowing in the qualities of the forest.

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