Designing from the Heart

Aidan Imanova speaks to Amr Metwally, head of architecture division PM&C department at Hamad Medical Corporation, about working in the field of healthcare design

World renowned architect, Frank Lloyd Wright once said: “A great architect is not made by way of a brain nearly so much as he is made by way of a cultivated, enriched heart.”

Amr Metwally, head of architecture division PM&C department at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) in Doha, Qatar, believes just that. After having worked on over 20 healthcare projects, Metwally confesses that there is no place for ego in an architect’s mind, only compassion and respect for all those involved and affected by the endeavor.

“Architects like to think of themselves as masters of the work but it should not be the case. Everyone in the project is a master and we are all working for the patient,” he says. “In healthcare, you can never say this is my building. It is always our building.”

It came as no surprise then, when Metwally humbly recounted all those involved in the design and construction of Hamad Medical Corporation’s PET CT Centre in Doha, a project for which he received the Best Hospital Design Award (Built) at the Hospital Build & Infrastructure show in Dubai.

“For the concept we tried to reflect the different functions of the building on the elevation directly such as glazing the windows where required to cool and shade the building,” outlines Metwally.

He adds that Islamic patterning was an important aspect of the design, a trend that is implemented more heavily in Doha than in Dubai. “It is kind of a basic thing you do in Doha but we tried to work it in a way that was not too obvious. We added subtle Islamic patterns throughout and enforced Islamic and Arab identity through calligraphic art works,” explains Metwally of his team’s winning design.

According to Metwally, one of the most essential principles, when it comes to hospital design, lies in ensuring that a sense of peace and calm is successfully communicated throughout the facility. In relation to the PET CT project, Metwally explains: “We tried to keep everything very light by using white with maple wood veneer.

Even the patterning is white on white with very subtle lighting.”

He continues: “Many people think that hospital design is easy and not challenging at all, but to design a good hospital you need to incorporate design elements from hotels, residential projects and commercial buildings.”

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