Today, vast health networks sprawl across cities and regions, serving as engines of employment and economic growth. Hospital design must account for complex equipment, disaster-safe infrastructure, flexible use, future growth, and the daily flow of patients, families, and workers.

Content from the exhibition Design and Healing: Creative Responses to Epidemics, curated by MASS Design Group and Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

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McMaster University Health Sciences Center, Ontario, Canada, 1972
Ontario’s McMaster University Health Sciences Center was designed by systems engineer Eberhard Zeidler (German-Canadian, b. 1926). McMaster’s modular, flexible design has the potential to extend horizontally and vertically over time. Service floors devoted to ventilation, wiring, and lighting run between the main floors.

Black and white photograph showing two men in suits standing in front of a large architectural model made up of a grid of squares. Behind them, rows of scaffolding.

Photograph: Craig, Zeidler, and Strong

Black and white external photo of the industrial style McMaster University Health Sciences Center.

Photograph: Craig, Zeidler, and Strong

Black-and-white photograph looking down on an architectural model made up of overlapping rectangular and L shapes throughout a grid marked by vertical rectangular posts

Photograph: Craig, Zeidler, and Strong

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Samajik Health Science Institute and Research Centre, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2021
Located in Bangladesh’s capital city, the Samajik Health Science Institute and Research Centre will be the hub of a country-wide health network. This 500-bed hospital, medical school, and research center will provide health care for all, regardless of ability to pay. The design balances the demands of a hot, humid climate with the health benefits of natural ventilation. Patient wards are equipped with covered outdoor terraces, operable windows, and solar chimneys that will reduce carbon emissions by half.

Exterior of a tall, sun-drenched brick building, surrounded by greenery, with several open-air terraces and a repeating pattern of small, square windows.

Rendering, Samajik Hospital, Dakha, Bangladesh, 2021; MASS Design Group (Boston, Massachusetts, USA, founded 2008); Client: Grameen Telecom Trust, Grameen Kalyan; Medical Planning: Stantec; Local Architect: Design Lab Architects; Mechanical/Electrical/Plumbing and Civil Engineering: Arup; Structural Engineering: MASS & Arup; Sustainability & Environmental Engineering: Transsolar

Distant exterior nighttime view of a long rectangular building that is brightly illuminated by windows of varying sizes across the full length of the building.

Rendering, Samajik Hospital, Dakha, Bangladesh, 2021; MASS Design Group (Boston, Massachusetts, USA, founded 2008); Client: Grameen Telecom Trust, Grameen Kalyan; Medical Planning: Stantec; Local Architect: Design Lab Architects; Mechanical/Electrical/Plumbing and Civil Engineering: Arup; Structural Engineering: MASS & Arup; Sustainability & Environmental Engineering: Transsolar

Distant exterior nighttime view of a long rectangular building that is brightly illuminated by windows of varying sizes across the full length of the building.

Rendering, Samajik Hospital, Dakha, Bangladesh, 2021; MASS Design Group (Boston, Massachusetts, USA, founded 2008); Client: Grameen Telecom Trust, Grameen Kalyan; Medical Planning: Stantec; Local Architect: Design Lab Architects; Mechanical/Electrical/Plumbing and Civil Engineering: Arup; Structural Engineering: MASS & Arup; Sustainability & Environmental Engineering: Transsolar

On a gray background, a tall rectangular architectural model in off-white and golden wood tones with long perforated vertical rectangular panels at the upper levels.

Model, Samajik Hospital, Dakha, Bangladesh, 2021; MASS Design Group (Boston, Massachusetts, USA, founded 2008); Model by GPI Models; Plastic modeling board, acrylic, wood veneer; Courtesy of MASS Design Group

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