Malikarchitecture : Bhagwan Mahaveer Cancer Hospital

March 28, 2014

The Institute was intended to be an ‘Island of Excellence’ in providing a comprehensive ‘cancer’ cover for the entire state of Rajasthan, a lofty objective indeed! Personally, we realized this was a unique opportunity to weave together two seemingly paradoxical streams – the philosophy of the East with the technical excellence of the West. We have to address the Mind of the Patient, not only the Body.” We attempted to achieve this through an understanding of the timeless philosophy expounded by our ancestors and thought this would be a unique and exciting foray into unchartered territory.To realize this, we drew up a base matrix, which we felt covered most of the major parameters/issues we had listed in our study.” The ‘issues’ here refer to distinct demands made by a hospital of this nature and the entire planning process catered to resolving the same.The determination to make the place user-friendly is evident in the emphasis given to the functionality of the place. Circulation routes for staff, patients and visitors were meticulously worked out and segregated to facilitate user convenience .Although essentially basic and modern, the architecture of the Institute brings to life the ‘spirit’ of the heritage that characteristics the city of Jaipur.The exterior with its interplay of huge stone walls and intersecting planes, the complex geometry, the traditional ‘red’ and ‘beige’ desert sand stones that are textured and juxtaposed into the overall composition and above all the play of light and shade, each echo in timeless association. The people instantly recognize this.This ‘feeling’ of familiarity with its surroundings is carried through into the interiors with the creation of multiple ‘courtyard’ spaces that gently filter suffused light into the circulation and waiting areas.Light is drawn through a fascinating array of skylights into the multiple out-patient courts, from the ribbon of light that pours through the observatory-like dome, to the sixteen sculptured skylights of the main OPD. Light becomes ethereal as it gleams through tiny shafts (reminiscent of the temples) and generates a sublime and tranquil environment.Recognizing the end user to be vernacular, perhaps even illiterate, the architect used a truly innovative way of facilitating visitor movement. “The problem of language/signage systems was completely solved when we used the passion for colour that is the hallmark of Rajasthan into simple colour-coded pathways.The traditional Chaurashta of radiating streets, coupled with colour coding, resolved and made the process of path-finding effortless .The entire plan draws upon the concept of the Mandala, the very model for the city of Jaipur itself. The plan follows the principle of nine squares with the main blocks being the, OPD, Diagnostic, Admin, OT suites/ICU, in-patient, future expansion and the ‘garden’ courts with the meditation cells . The spine runs diagonally across the Mandala – connecting all the major activities.

Architect:Arjun Malik

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