The Chinese and Tibetan Medicine Rehabilitation Center of Haiyan County, with its 75,700m2 site area and 30,000m2 floor area, is a 300 bed, 2nd-grade class-A hospital and a medical platform combining medical treatment, rehabilitation and eldercare services. Depending on the local climate condition as well as the Tibetan medicine tradition, the center operates in a tourism-rehabilitation-eldercare model, which not only meets the local need of medical treatment, but also develops a Tibetan medicine oriented industry of rehabilitation and eldercare motivated by the local tourism resources.
Nowadays, when hospitals are perceived to be under threat of losing their architectural value due to the increasingly sophisticated programs of medical treatment on one side and a chronic neglect of the mental effect of hospital spaces on people on the other, the Chinese and Tibetan Medicine Rehabilitation Center of Haiyan County, designed in a manner of critical regionalism, creates a public space rooted in, and inspired by, the local conditions, for the rehabilitation of not only people's physical fitness but also their mental health.
Responding to the local climate and vernacular culture of the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Haibei and learning from the traditional Tibetan architecture as the archetype, the rehabilitation center's various programs (outpatient and medical detections, inpatient, rehabilitation, and administrative department) are deliberately arranged across a series of courtyards, either roofed or open to the air, which together guarantee a properly divided as well as efficiently related function, and dictate the building's horizontally extending form, offering the city an iconic building cluster that is regional and contemporary at the same time, aiming to rethink and avoid any form of the commonly seen crude functionalism or superficial symbolism among existent local buildings.
The architect's ambition is to redefine the hospital as an institution no longer exclusively dedicated to the medical treatment procedures, but rather as a civic place which engages people, takes care of people's emotion and spirit with its own spatial quality and thus providing people with adequate amount of humanistic care. With its comforting garden-like environment on the one hand and an almost monumental and spiritual interior with a sky-lit central atrium on the other, this rehabilitation center, as a real piece of architecture instead of merely a building or function container, would be able to not only cure people's bodies but also contribute to console their souls. And in this sense, a hospital, becomes to function just like a temple, literally. In an age when more and more attention is paid to the quality of people's experiences of all kinds, it is the revitalization of the essence of healthcare buildings as "architecture" that will make them outstanding.
To make this rehabilitation center a low-carbon, environment-friendly project, in addition to its scattered courtyard layout and an architectural scheme of smaller scale with compacted building depth, as opposed to a centralized large scale building, appropriate technologies including passive cooling and ventilation, Low-E glass, permeable paving, rainwater harvesting and infiltration system, etc. are employed following a low-tech sustainable design strategy.