The Magdi Yacoub Foundation’s latest efforts see it team-up with Cairo-based design firm, Foster + Partners, to usher in a philosophy of Biophilic design.
What is it that connects us to nature? What is that intangible sense of being that comes with the simple pleasure of being surrounded by greenery? There are many theories, some logical, others lofty, but it’s a topic that interior designers and architects are exploring to new depths through biophilic design - a concept that the Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation is embracing with the establishment of a new 300-bed, state-of-the-art cardiological hospital in Cairo.
Deriving from the Greek words for ‘life’ (bio) and ‘love’ (philia), the translation of this term refers to a ‘love of life’ which is at the core belief of both the Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Foundation and the design elements of their new centre. Biophilia is understood to be that innate human instinct we all have to connect with nature and other living beings. Biophilic design, therefore, is the use of natural materials, patterns, and phenomena in architectural structures so as to maintain a connection to nature within a built environment. In line with the function and purpose of this architectural masterpiece, biophilic design has been found to support physical health, cognitive function and psychological well-being.
The hospital will be strategically located by 6th of October City’s Zewail City of Science and Technology University, in order to develop an integrated health and medical research zone. The location, however, also feeds into the UK firm behind the design and implementation Foster + Partners’ grand vision, one based around natural light, greenery and striking views of the newly formed surrounding lake, as well as a view of the Great Pyramids of Giza. The finished development will promote a sense of peace and wellbeing for staff, patients and visitors alike, with soft and warm colours throughout the interior evoking the beauty and charm of the natural Egyptian landscape. On site, rich and native fauna has been introduced, creating a ring of green that interweaves between quiet and contemplative spaces for those wandering this wonderful testament to biophilic architecture.