Ratchaphruek Hospital


The former Ratchaphruek Hospital was found in 2537 B.E. (1994) with a registered capacity of 50 beds. Because of the service with the right standard and high quality, the hospital was accepted as well as trusted from the local community. As a result, the hospital started to get crowded. The executive board, therefore, planned to construct the new Ratchaphruek Hospital building on an area of 10 Rai (approximately 4 Acre) that is approximately 1 kilometer away from the original area in order to expand the service area for patients who need more medical service. The new Ratchaphruek Hospital will be a 220-beds hospital.

The first quarter of 2555 B.E. (2012), brainstorm process from various professionals towards the important keyword “What is your dream hospital?” could be considered as the beginning of the new Ratchaphruek Hospital project. Many divergent answers reflected both physical and psychological needs that most existing hospitals cannot fulfill such as “Feel like home”, “Not busy, not crowded”, “Not get lost”, “A hospital that understands the local culture”, “Smell of the hospital that is not the medicine” and “Hospital like home”. Those resonances (answers) of the dream hospital are the most important to determine the direction of the new Ratchaphruek Hospital. The design team set its goals into three main parts as follows: (1) to be the hospital that conducive to psychological healing, “even if the body is sick, but the heart is not sick”, (2) to be the functional and manageable hospital, (3) to be the hospital that synchronizes with its context and surrounding.


Architectural Concept

Going to the hospital is often a horrible experience for everyone. Only sickness alone is heavy, but patients always face with the intense and unfriendly atmosphere; suspicion from a complicated route in the hospital; and some disturbing image of other patients on the trolleys; etc. The design of the new Ratchaphruek Hospital is intended to “Changing the horrible hospital into a Home that people are familiar with” (from Hospital to Homepital) through the following goals:

1. Creating an environment that is conducive to psychological healing, “even if the body is sick but the heart is not sick” by using the following factors:

1.1 Natural therapy (Green area, Water (overflow pond), Natural wind) including

1.1.1 Creating a large green area at the heart of the project where is the outpatient zone and the reception zone (second floor) through the construction of a large court with green area and trees and adding more trees at the parking lot.

1.1.2 Creating a large green area on the fifth floor at the ROOF GARDEN area, which will be the area for the in-patient to perceive and use.

1.1.3 Arranging air vents (in-out) at every floor level in order to make users always experience cold wind when they are at any corridors and courts.

1.1.4 Arranging overflowing ponds and green areas spreading along various floors (The staff tree-courtyard at the fourth floor, garden of conversation area beside the office on the thirteenth floor, balcony, and garden at the Staff rest area on the second floor)

1.2 Friendship therapy – Preparing areas for interaction space (Community space) separate across the building for everyone, including staffs, the project officials, and patients who often come along with many relatives.

1.3 Architecture therapy – using architectural elements to heal through the following factors such as proportions of the building that related to the human scale, using materials, patterns, and proportions that the local people are familiar with to prevent alienation and to create a warm atmosphere that they would “feel at home”:

1.3.1 Welcome court area on the second floor is the heart of the project for welcoming project’s users. It is a court with a roof, wooden column, low eaves, and surrounded by wooden balconies. There are a garden and trees in the middle. Also, when entering this area, users will recognize that the building has only two floors like home.

1.3.2 Even this is a large and tall (14-story) building but it has been disproportionate the masses of the building and descending its proportion from the rooftop to the ground level together with the inserting of the green areas on the building surface such as ivy walls/trees to reduce the hardness of building.

1.3.3 Using wooden materials and Chaleo pattern wall to keep a warm mood on the building design. Timber is the material that familiar with the local residents and the Chaleo pattern (the pattern from ancient wisdom) also convey the prosperous meaning to the building as well.

1.4 Contemplative therapy – using sacred items and beliefs as an anchor for the mind through the determination of sacred areas at various points in the hospital. This will make the patient’s mind remember the good things and leading to a charitable, relaxed, and stress-free mind by arranging the Brahma shrine and a large courtyard in the first floor and providing religious rooms for all religions (Buddhist, Christian, Islamic) on the fifth floor.


2. To be the functional and manageable hospital

2.1 Clear zoning, related, and meet the space stand of the hospital such as the emergency department must be near the radiology department, etc.

2.2 Providing clear circulation in order to separate the critical patients (which are disturbing some general patients) from general patients and separating other circulations from the main circulations.

2.3 Organizing uncomplicated circulation and easy to remember and recognize in order to help users not getting lost. The courts are used to determine the main route for general users.


3. To be the hospital that synchronizes with its context and surrounding

3.1 Preparing the space for relatives, friends of the users due to the Northeastern culture which living together as a large family.

3.2 Applying local wisdom to a large building becoming the contemporary building by using the roof style, Northeastern Sun Style Gable, and wooden materials

3.3 Using a pattern associated with ancient beliefs such as Chaleo pattern which is a prosperous pattern and can eliminate unfortunate things. This pattern is used as a building surface on the third and twelfth floors.


Location: 150/19 Mittraphap Rd, Mueang Khon Kaen District, Khon Kaen
Client/Owner: Ratchaphruek Hospital
Building Area: 23,000 sq.m.
Project Value: 800,000,000 Bahts
Collaborators: Architecture : Arsomsilp Community and Environmental Architect and Spacetime Architect, Interior : Spacetime Architect, artwork design and selector : Piangor Pattayakorn, Pongsapat Arnamnart, Landscape : PLandscape, Lighting : LD49, Structural Engineer : Anek Siripanichkorn, M&E : PASS ENGINEERING CONSULTANT, Architects, Hospital design consultants : Veerasak Thongpaiboon, Contractor : Christiani & Nielsen (Thai) Public Company Limited