Plan Architect designs apartment block for nurses with zigzagging facade

Nurse Dormitory Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital by Plan Architect

A zigzagging form gives extra privacy to the medical staff living in Thai studio Plan Architect’s nurse dormitory apartment block at Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital in Bangkok.

Comprising 523 rooms, the building, which has been shortlisted for Dezeen Awards 2022, is formed of 26 floors with diamond-shaped openings at their centres. Plan Architect designed the apartment block to be a restful home for nurses working in the hospital, which is run by the Thai Red Cross Society.

Balconies arranged in angular formation on facade of white apartment block by Plan Architect for nurses in Bangkok
The Bangkok apartment block was designed as a peaceful residence for nurses at a nearby hospital

“The main aim was to create the most comfortable residence for the nurses at the hospital,” project architect Jittinun Jithpratuck told Dezeen.

In response to the dense arrangement of the city, Plan Architect aimed to design a building that offers the residents plenty of privacy.

White building by Plan Architect with gap between two halves and zigzag facade
The apartments are arranged across 26 floors

“With the dense high-rise buildings in Bangkok, we aimed to provide enough space for each room to have its own privacy without directly facing other buildings and to allow natural ventilation to get through the rooms,” Jithpratuck continued.

To ensure the rooms didn’t directly face the surrounding high rises, the studio gave the apartment block a zigzagging form.

White zigzag facade of building by Plan Architects with brown artificial timber section
Breaks in the white facade highlight sections of artificial timber

On each floor, the apartments are arranged along two corridors separated by a central opening that lets more natural light enter the corridors and facilitates natural ventilation from the floor to the roof.

Most rooms are separated into two parts by a sliding door, with one half acting as the bedroom and the other containing a dining area, pantry and bathroom. The bedrooms are intended to sleep two people, with the beds on opposite sides of the room for privacy.

Balconies placed at an angle extend from each room, forming snaking rows along the structure.

“Since the dormitory is close to other nearby buildings, we designed the balcony to have a slanted angle,” said the studio.

“This avoids a direct sightline to other buildings and allows more sunlight into the area, making it suitable for planting trees and drying clothes.”

Bedroom in Bangkok apartment with two beds on opposite ends of room and views of city
The bedrooms feature two beds placed on opposite ends of the room

Aluminium railing and perforated aluminium sheets provide further privacy and shading on the balconies.

“This facade and balcony composition create the pattern of light and shadow that reflects the simple systematic design of the building while concealing the various lifestyles of the users,” the studio continued.

Aluminium railing and perforated aluminium sheets casting shadows across balcony of Bangkok apartment
Aluminium railing and perforated sheets cast shadows across the balconies

Additional facilities in the block include a library, public dining room, co-working space, and laundry room.

An enclosed courtyard is formed in the space between the apartment block and three of the neighbouring buildings. Separated from the busy hospital, this courtyard offers green space and a peaceful area for relaxation for the nurses.

“The nurses feel it’s a lot better than where they lived before because it can give them privacy even when living with each other, and the natural cross ventilation really works including the zoning in the room that makes it easier to work while the other occupant needs to rest,” the studio said.

Plan Architect’s project has been shortlisted in the housing project category of Dezeen Awards 2022. Other projects shortlisted in the category include a colourful apartment block in Melbourne and a green tower in Amsterdam.

The photography is by Panoramic Studio.

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