Nature’s Healing Power is in Abundance at this Singapore Hospital

The International Living Future Institute (ILFI) today honored the late scholar and Yale University social ecologist Stephen R. Kellert’s legacy with the first ever Biophilic Design Award at the Greenbuild Expo in Boston. The award was presented to CPG Consultants Pte Ltd, Senior Vice President Ong Chin-Po, Jerry and Alexandra Health System, Director Donald Wai Wing Tai for Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in Singapore, in recognition of the innovative and extensive use of biophilic design to engage all of the senses to promote healing and wellbeing.

“Khoo Teck Puat surpasses traditional hospitals and opens the door towards a new kind of building type for the healthcare industry, which considers how the built and natural environment can become part of the healing process,” said Amanda Sturgeon FAIA, CEO of ILFI. “Our hope is that by recognizing projects like this, Mr. Kellert’s legacy lives on as we celebrate all of the ways we can reconnect people and nature through buildings.”

Khoo Teck Puat Hospital

Khoo Teck Puat Hospital | Photo courtesy of Khoo Teck Puat Hospital

Designers of the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital used nature as a healing process through paying close attention to all the senses. The rainforest-like landscaping that weaves in and out of the hospital infuses the atmosphere with natural sights, sounds and scents. It’s also a natural habitat for butterflies, birds, dragonflies, and fish. The sky bridges provide prospect and refuge, and inside-outside spaces make waiting a more relaxing experience. Notable design architectural features include natural ventilation in patient rooms and collaboration with the city to transform a storm water pond to a lake feature.

“What is most impressive about this project is its post-occupancy evaluation which sampled a group of 200 users comprised of patients, staff, and visitors whom 80% responded yes to hospitals investing in implementing biophilic elements,” said Stephen Kieran, AIA of Kieran Timberlake, a juror for the award.

“Thinking of nature as part of the patient hospital experience, Khoo Teck Puat continually treats staff, patients and visitors to direct access to nature at multiple angles.”

Khoo Teck Puat Hospital

Khoo Teck Puat Hospital | Photo courtesy of Khoo Teck Puat Hospital

Honorable mention for the Biophilic Design Award went to:

  • Phipps Center for Sustainable Landscapes, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Noted by the jury as “a successful example of how place-based relationships can be formed to create a structure that embraces the climate, is a habitat for biodiversity, and a nursery for the landscape.”

  • Etsy Headquarters, New York City, New York

    Recognized for the inclusion of local makers products, creating a strong connection to the community, bringing nature inside and creating varied scale spaces that replicate nature’s patterns.

  • COOKFOX Architects Studio, New York City, New York

    Designers prioritized direct and visual connections to nature and natural cycles.

  • Yanmar Headquarters, Osaka, Japan

    A glass-enclosed beehive in the center of the building is an innovative focal point, a bold staircase is a biomimetic journey and a water feature is a unique approach towards a meditative and restful space for staff and visitors alike.

Phipps Center for Sustainable Landscapes

Phipps Center for Sustainable Landscapes | Photo courtesy of Annie O’Neill

About the Stephen Kellert Biophilic Design Award

The award is stewarded by the ILFI’s Biophilic Design Initiative. Projects were judged based on the following criteria:

  • INTEGRATION of Biophilic Design
  • EXPRESSION of Biophilic Design
  • EXPERIENCE of Biophilic Design
  • EVALUATION of Biophilic Design
Etsy Headquarters

Etsy Headquarters | Photo courtesy of Gensler

The jury for the Kellert Biophilic Design Award included:

  • Judith Heerwagen, PhD, Award Committee Chair US General Services Administration
  • Priscilla Kellert, Jury Chair Program Director, Yale University Freshman Outdoor Orientation Trips (FOOT)
  • Stephen Kieran, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C Founding Partner, KieranTimberlake
  • Bert Gregory, FAIA, LEED Fellow Design Partner, Mithun
  • Peter Kahn, PhD, Professor, University of Washington
  • Amanda Sturgeon, FAIA, LEED Fellow Chief Executive Office, International Living Future Institute
COOKFOX Architects Studio

COOKFOX Architects Studio | Photo courtesy COOKFOX Architects Studio

About the International Living Future Institute

The International Living Future Institute is a hub for visionary programs. The Institute offers global strategies for lasting sustainability, partnering with local communities to create grounded and relevant solutions, including green building and infrastructure solutions on scales ranging from single room renovations to neighborhoods or whole cities.  The Institute administers the Living Building Challenge, the most rigorous and ambitious building performance standard. It is the parent organization for Cascadia Green Building Council. It is also home to Ecotone Publishing, a unique publishing house dedicated to telling the story of the green building movement’s pioneering thinkers and practitioners.

Yanmar Headquarters

Yanmar Headquarters | Photo courtesy of Yanmar

Written By

Marina Snyder

Marina Snyder is the Communications Manager of the International Living Future Institute.