The Stavros Niarchos Foundation and internationally renowned architect Renzo Piano share preliminary designs for the new SNF General Hospital of Komotini.
For patients in the hospital, there are many factors, some more and others less obvious, that contribute to their health outcomes. Care from competent and caring medical professionals using effective equipment is essential. However, a number of environmental factors, often overlooked, can be vitally important too: the location of a hospital, its setting, the configuration of its public spaces, the design of the operating and patient rooms.
This was evident thousands of years ago in ancient Greece, where “Asclepieions” served as the healing centers of antiquity. Built in lush landscapes with idyllic views, the Asclepieions served as places of worship and holistic healing.
These ancient centers of healing provided inspiration to internationally renowned architect, Renzo Piano, who recently completed preliminary designs for the new SNF General Hospital of Komotini and released the first photorealistic architectural images. The hospital is being created through an exclusive grant from SNF, as part of its Health Initiative, whose budget is expected to exceed $450 million.
“Inspired by the Asclepeions and the importance attached to the environment for treating a patient,” the architect said, “the aim is to create the most beautiful environment possible for medical and nursing staff as well as for patients. Instead of the word ‘beautiful,’ allow me to use here the ancient Greek term ‘kalos kagathos’ (beautiful and good), as it best reflects the philosophy of designing an ideal space for healing and recovery, and not just one of high aesthetic value.”
Pritzker Award winner Renzo Piano is creator of some of the most important contemporary architectural projects, such as the Pompidou Center in Paris, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) in Athens—SNF’s single largest grant to date, and the Whitney Museum in New York.
The new SNF General Hospital of Komotini, which will replace existing fragmented health infrastructure on a new site outside the city, is a state-of-the-art hospital designed to provide top-notch patient care, and it is equipped with the latest and most advanced medical systems and technology, allowing doctors and nurses to offer the best inpatient and outpatient care. The hospital will be surrounded by a dense forest, accessible to patients and their relatives during their hospitalization as part of the healing process. Single and double rooms will have unobstructed views of the forest, while the operating rooms will have large openings facing the park, allowing natural light to enter.
Following the successful model of the SNFCC, the hospital's design, construction, and operation will incorporate the green sustainability principles of the LEED program. The new facilities will also enable the development of modern digital infrastructure for clinical services, sustainable and efficient management and maintenance of the hospital, and interconnection with other partner health units.
With the completion of the new SNF General Hospital of Komotini, expected in the summer of 2024, SNF aspires for the new facility to become a model of public hospitalization and healthcare for residents of all ages from Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, and specifically of the Rodopi Prefecture.
As envisioned by Renzo Piano, "A hospital open and accessible to all residents of the multicultural community of Komotini which, in addition to high quality health services, will provide a healthcare environment of high standard."
To implement this vision, SNF is working together with the Ministry of Health, systematically and with dedication. Also collaborating in the effort are numerous consultants, from Greece and abroad, including Hill International, responsible for the overall coordination of the project; the British company Llewelyn Davies, working as a hospital design consultant; and, of course, architect Renzo Piano and the Renzo Piano Building Workshop in collaboration with the Greek architectural firm Betaplan.