Articles

Sami Ofer Heart Center Sourasky Tel-Aviv (Ichilov) M.C / 24/12/2009

Architects: Arad Sharon, Sharon Gur-Ze’ev– Sharon Architects
Rani Zis Architects

Name of Project: Sami Ofer Heart Center
Sourasky Tel-Aviv (Ichilov) Medical Center

The new Cardiology Tower, slated for completion in 2010, is a revolutionary breakthrough in the architectural design of medical institutions, as it places the patient and his needs at the center of the activity. The new 55,000 sq.m., 69 meter-high tower will have 17 floors (four basement floors to serve as a 650-bed emergency hospital, topped by another 13 medical floors).
The Cardiology Tower was designed as a simple white monolithic cube to be built next to the historic Ichilov hospital building, designed in the 1960s by Arieh Sharon.
State-of-the-art technologies will be applied within the white architectural simplicity which historically has been the hallmark of hospitals, aiming to create a structure that is both transparent, eco-friendly and suited to the local climate. White, which in the past symbolized the "white city" architectural style of Tel-Aviv and was also associated with medical hygiene – "everything exposed and open" – will also be dominant in the interior design of the new tower. Strong colors – red, yellow – will be integrated to express measured liveliness in a field of white. The new tower strikes a delicate balance between the worlds of architecture and medicine, testing the ability of white, soft, sensitive and upbeat architecture to assuage the sense of anxiety and distress when entering a hospital, without the annoying need to try to masquerade as another type of building (hotel, American bank, homey-feeling, etc.).
The idea was to revive the old Ichilov Hospital building by designing a public atrium connecting the new Cardiology Tower with the historic building.
Red bridges will be suspended like arteries in the atrium space and lead the public of visitors to waiting galleries facing each other in the two buildings, in figurative tension. The historic Ichilov Hospital will be renovated in its original spirit of modernism.
The new Cardiology Tower is the only medical building in Israel designed without fences and with a side that interfaces and runs parallel to a main city street – Weizman Street. A two-level urban gallery, typical of Tel-Aviv, was designed parallel to a new wide public square bordering Weizman Street.
This urban gallery has a coffee shop, commercial areas, small theater for the benefit of the hospital patients and visitors, and will serve as a meeting place between the patients and their visitors as well as the influx of people from the street.
Positioned in the glass front of the building, like ventricles of the heart, are red windows that will serve as "theater boxes", providing the patients with vital contact with the outside. 
"Healing gardens" will surround the tower and be integrated in the interior spaces.