When designing the 230-bed Khayelitsha District Hospital, the architects had the theme "African ideas that speak to the world" in mind. They wanted to design a patient-centred healing environment with unique rural and urban African features. It had to be very different to the usual cold, sterile, featureless, crowded and noisy environment hospitals are usually associated with.
The key challenge was to achieve a balance between the hospital as an effective, clinical machine and how patients experience the hospital as a place of calm and healing. To achieve this they used the latest global trend of salutogenic design.
The aim of this approach is to promote healing by creating a structure that makes people healthier and happier. The architects used natural lighting, landscaping, colour and artworks to create a relaxed environment. This R459 million hospital opened its doors in May 2012 and has received five prestigious architectural and design awards.