In what way could we bring back
patients’ right to dignity
Patients who are forced to stay hospitalized often suffer from loneliness and anxiety in hospitals. It can be difficult to spend time while remaining hopeful and easily forget their dignity as a human in such places. On the other hand, nurses, who are often exposed to harsh working environments, do not have much time to relax and take a break. Japan is missing a situation where both hospitalized patients and nurses can comfortably spend time together.
Second Award- Urban Design & Architecture Design Awards 2019
Firm | NOSIGNER
Category | Mixed Use (Built)
Team | NOSIGNER (Eisuke Tachikawa), anotherAPARTMENT (Tsuyoshi Kobayashi),
Client | Kawamura Hospital
Country | Japan
An authentic architecture in nature,
designed like a two-family house.
We designed SACHI HOUSE, a medical welfare facility, resembling the feeling of being at “home.” We try to bring the right of dignity back to the patients’ life, encouraging hospitalized patients, their families, and friends to come together. At the same time, this environment is also de-signed for nurses to be able to relax. To protect the well-being of both hospitalized patients and nurses, we designed this architecture like a two-family house. In addition, by constructing a space according to the site of a triangle and using local thinned wood, we confront the forestry loss issues that currently affect whole Japan. As a thoroughly eco-friendly and authentic architecture, this house is built as if it is situated in a forest. While building a contact point for both hospitalized patients and nurses, we prepared two separate entrances like a two-family house for their respective spaces. The second floor is for the nurses, and the first floor is for patients.
The triangular site faces the main street with heavy traffic on one side and a quiet side street on the other. Instead of creating an opening on the main road (that is the front side of the building), The pathway on one side is designed for gazing and overlooking the garden’s greenery, as if the building is in a forest. We utilized the part of the wood that would have usually been thrown away as the outer layer of the building. We left the bark as it is, using the inner material of the same wood as squared bars for the interior, devoting the design to keep its natural form as much as possible. Various design rules are set for the Maggie’s Center a center offering free support developed especially for people with cancer as well as their friends and family, formed by Maggie Keswick Jencks since 1996. Many famous archi-tects have been involved, such as Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid. When designing SACHI HOUSE, we also followed all of the guidelines and rules under the supervision of Maggie’s Center.
A community center involving local residents.
SACHI HOUSE opened as a welfare facility attached to Kawamura Hospital in Fuji City, Shizuoka Prefecture. It is starting to function not only as a place for inpatients, family members and nurses, but is now also as a place for local residents to gather together. Events such as yoga classes and tea ceremonies are held frequently, generally opening on Wednesdays every week, expanding everyday as a community center.