AIA Honors GS&P in National Healthcare Design Awards

144bSeoul National University Hospital Medical Mall Design Concept Recognized in Unbuilt Category

Nashville, Tenn. — Gresham, Smith and Partners, a leading multi-disciplinary design and consulting firm to the built environment, announces it was recognized by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in their National Healthcare Design Awards. 

Awarded in the “Unbuilt” category, the conceptual design of the Seoul National University Hospital Medical Mall in Seoul, South Korea encompasses 56,000 square meters and includes three floors of out-patient clinics, retail and support spaces as well as three floors of parking garage space.  The project was recognized for conceptual strengths that solve aesthetic, civic, urban, and social concerns as well as the requisite functional and sustainability concerns of a hospital.

“I am very proud of this accomplishment and our design team’s creativity in developing this nationally recognized design,” commented James W. Bearden, AIA, chief executive officer, Gresham, Smith and Partners.  “The design not only addresses the operational and functional needs of a healthcare facility, but utilizes truly innovative design concepts which infuse a natural park-like environment into an urban landscape, solve space issues by designing three stories below grade yet still permeating natural elements, light and air into the space.”

Flexibility, intuitive way-finding, expandability and connection to nature were the motivations of the concept. The facility is arrayed in an arc about an existing historic hospital building with phase one occupying available northern real estate and subsequent phases to the west. On each floor the interior functions are arranged with public circulation and waiting on the inside of the arc and transaction, clinic spaces and offices layered to the outside.  The layered approach allows flexibility in assigning space to various clinics as needed. The relationship between flexible clinics, public circulation and an open visitor waiting area allows patient volumes to ebb and flow with the clinic schedules.

An underground out-patient center is located between the existing main hospital and the existing historic hospital.  A drop-off for the out-patient clinics is distinguished from the main hospital entrance and was designed to reduce the congestion at the front entrance of the hospital while maintaining a connection to the main hospital for staff and patients requiring access.  By creating a focus on nature and architecture through excavation and a south-facing garden, the perception of the building as “underground” is diminished and a healthy, vibrant aesthetic is established.

“We are thrilled to be honored by the AIA/AAH in their annual awards,” commented Kevin Kim, AIA, principal, Gresham, Smith and Partners.  “We were challenged in the design to meet the local FAR limitation requirements while keeping patients oriented to their location on the site below grade.  The unique underground exterior space also connects patients, staff and visitors to the clinics, retail spaces, underground parking garages and public transportation systems.”

Mooyoung Architects & Engineering served as the associate architecture firm for the project.

The AIA/AAH Design Awards showcase the best of healthcare building design and healthcare design-oriented research.  The awards highlight the trends of healthcare facilities and the future direction of these facilities.  Recognized projects exhibit conceptual strength that solve aesthetic, civic, urban, and social concerns as well as the requisite functional and sustainability concerns of a hospital.  The AIA/AAH recognizes firms for their contribution to the healthcare environment.

About GS&P:
Gresham, Smith and Partners provides design and consulting solutions for the built environment that contribute to the success of national and international clients.  For more than 40 years, GS&P has focused on enhancing quality of life and sustainability within communities.  GS&P consists of industry-leading professionals practicing architecture and engineering design as well as scientists and highly specialized planning and strategic consultants in Aviation, Corporate and Urban Design, Environmental Compliance, Healthcare and Industrial, Land Planning, Transportation and Water Services.  GS&P consistently ranks among the top architecture and engineering firms in the United States.  For more information regarding GS&P, visit


Posted April 14, 2010

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