Architect Perkins+Will and Americaribe Design new Ghana Ridge Hospital
Global architectural and design firm Perkins+Will is adding to its award-winning healthcare portfolio with the design of the new 465,560 square foot (43,252 square meter) Ghana Ridge Hospital.
The Government of Ghana selected the design-build team of Perkins+Will and Americaribe to create a new state-of-the-art hospital that will support the growing needs of the fast developing African country. This is the second women and children’s hospital in Africa to be designed by Perkins+Will, preceded by the Kenya Women and Children's Wellness Centre in Nairobi.
The new hospital, now under construction, will deliver modern healthcare facilities to women and children and will become the largest hospital in the country to date. The building, accommodating 600 beds and more than 12 surgical theaters, will be home to numerous hospital services including public health, accident and emergency, imaging, obstetrics, gynaecology, dental, surgical, intensive care, laboratory, respiratory therapy, and administration.
Patricia Bosch, Design Director, said: “The design was inspired by the unique relationship between nature and colour, and the cultural significance of space and journey found in Kenya. This relationship is beautifully represented through the Kente cloth, an icon of African heritage and part of the local weaving culture in Ghana.
“Like the Kente cloth, the design makes use of patterning, layering, spatial complexities, and juxtaposition in its design. I wanted to carefully weave daylight throughout the facility and consider local context, scale, and materiality. The building represents the complexity and richness of a culture and its environment, a relationship with light, public and private spaces, and a place for healing based on inspiration from the village, family, and ultimately the embrace of a mother and child.”
The company says the project is designed to address the site’s unique characteristics, climate, and programmatic needs. The program is arranged for optimal workflow and the building is designed as a system of components that perform with minimal maintenance. Passively cooled breezeways, stairways, and public corridors, as well as naturally ventilated waiting areas lower energy consumption and create a healthy healing environment for patients.
Sustainable design aspects include rainwater harvesting, water reuse, controlled daylight harvesting, solar water heating, and the use of light-coloured exterior materials that have been locally sourced. Public transportation is integrated with an entrance that is clearly defined and welcoming for patients and visitors.
“Americaribe is committed to bringing the best quality care and facilities to the Americas and Africa,” said Jean-Baptiste Baudin de la Valette, President of Americaribe. “We are one of the largest builders in the world and value our partnerships with the best design firms. We have worked hard to achieve this pivotal project, partnering with Xing bank and HSBC to deliver healthcare in this region.”
“Perkins+Will is honoured to provide the Government of Ghana with its healthcare expertise, gained from designing hospital facilities around the world,” added Jim Bynum, Healthcare Practice Leader. “The impact that modern and efficient healthcare services have on communities is profound. This building will change lives and give people access to care that they did not have previously.”
Perkins+Will’s first project in Africa began in 1999, when the firm was commissioned to design Universidade Agostinho Neto in Luanda, Angola – an ambitious national university adapted for a country in transition.
In addition to the Ghana Ridge Hospital, the firm is also currently working on the Kenya Women and Children's Wellness Centre in Nairobi, Kenya; Ubora Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya; and Capital Health Surgical Center in Abuja, Nigeria.
217,000 extra workers needed to meet COVID-19 recovery
As the construction industry’s recovery progresses, the Construction Industry Training Board’s (CITB) Construction Skills Network (CSN) forecasts have led the organisation to believe the industry will reach 2019 levels of output in 2022.
The CSN says there will be an increase in the number of construction workers in “most English regions” by 2025, with demands forecasted at a 1.7% rise for the East Midlands, and a 1.4% rise for the West Midlands.
Scotland and Wales are also predicted to see a surge in demand for construction workers with a total increase of 1.4% and 0.7% respectively. The North East is the only region to see a slight decline in workforce demand at -0.1%.
Wood and interior fit-out trades among the most desirable during COVID-19
According to CSN’s forecast, the trades that are the most wanted are those of wood and interior fit-outs, with both requiring around 5,500 workers per year. Other in-demand trades include technical staff and other construction professionals, requiring 5,150 workers each year, construction managers at 3,600, and the electrical installation trade, which requires 3,400 staff per year.
There is also expected to be demand for 7,850 non-construction, office-based professionals and technical and IT support staff each year. Steve Radley, Policy Director at CITB, said: “It’s great to see construction coming back so strongly and creating lots of job opportunities.
“We need to adopt new approaches to meet these growing skills needs and deliver these quickly. We are working closely with the government and FE to build better bridges between FE and work and make apprenticeships more flexible. We are also making significant investments in supporting work experience that make it easier for employers to bring in new blood.
“We must also make sure that we invest in the skills that will drive change and meet new and growing needs such as Net Zero emissions and Building Safety. We will be announcing plans soon to tackle specific skills and occupations such as leadership and management, digital skills, and skills related to energy efficiency”, he said.