GIFA Award of Excellence 2017 : Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital by GAPP & Associated Architects

Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital

GAPP Architects and Urban Designers, Ruben Reddy Architects, Sheppard Robson International, John Cooper Architecture

The hospital sits quietly in the prominent site, with strong architectural elements of facebrick, concrete and large colourful windows to the city, and yet it remains playful. The concept comprises six wings connected to a central movement spine that makes the facility legible and easy to navigate. The wings are separated by courtyard and garden spaces that flood the building with natural light and ventilation and provide extended views to the city. Each courtyard is unique in its landscaping and provides for happy play and peaceful spaces for the children and their families away from the more clinical side of the facility. 

Each department is colour coded and decorated with cheerful graphics, symbols and sculptures translated from drawings and models made in interactive workshops with children. A great deal of thought has gone into the choice of materials, careful detailing and equipment resulting in a delightful and uplifting experience. 

The architecture is a fitting tribute to Mandela’s love for children and responds to the brief to create “an environment that was welcoming, playful and family orientated, providing quality child healthcare in a natural healing environment”.