Children's Hospice in Saigon // Thanh Hien Mai

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Basic Information

Thanh Hien Mai
Course of Study:
Master of Science
Michel Kleinbrahm
Prof. Hartwig Schneider
Prof. Uwe Schröder
Chair of Building Construction

The property on the An Nhon Tay medical site in Bau Dung Quarter, Cu Chi, houses various social institutions, including the Mai Hoa Center - the first hospice for seriously ill HIV/AIDS patients and their families in Vietnam. Adjacent to the center is the Thien Phuoc Children's Home for disabled children. As an extension of the medical care for children of the two facilities mentioned above, the project envisages a children's hospice here, which is intended to enable children with life-shortening illnesses to live a dignified and self-determined life and at the same time to support their parents in intensive medical care. It is a place of relaxation, exchange, care and professional advice.

In the analysis, one repeatedly encounters the word "in between." A space in between, such as the porch, the anteroom or the alcove, brings the possibility to retreat, to reflect and to better prepare the mentality. For the children, this in-between space is also an attractive place to play.

The urban scattering principle of a village singles the 2,500 m2 program to ten houses grouped around a differentiated common courtyard. It creates varied spaces in between. The buildings are divided from north-east to south-west (from street sides to private green) into four zones administration, public therapeutic, community and private. The functions of the inner courtyard zones are determined by the surrounding houses. Thus, the playground is bordered by educational spaces and the therapeutic movement area is located next to the medical area. To the outside, the houses form different pocket courtyards in order to respond individually to the environment from each side.

The ensemble and the building structure are developed on the therapeutic and the climatic conditions: Each house unit gets a view to the green and a reference to the courtyard. The intensity of these references can be tuned by the children themselves. To take advantage of the cooling cross-ventilation, the buildings are mainly oriented north-south and have large ventilation areas. In the dry season, access is through the interlocking courtyards; in the rainy season, three massive bases and wide roof overhangs provide protection from the elements. Water is therapeutically collected in lotus ponds and used for irrigation.

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