ODDO architects designs an allegory for traditional medicine in Vietnam

ODDO architects reinterprets healthcare design with Traditional Clinic SPD for YHCT Vinmec by creating a sensorial experience of perceiving traditional medicine in Hanoi.

by Sunena V MajuPublished on : Sep 03, 2022

Extending the design industry's potential to the field of medicine, integrated architecture has been in limelight for experimenting with the contribution it can offer to enrich the medical industry. One such example where design marries the future of traditional medicine is the Traditional Clinic SDP set within a mixed utility residential highrise complex in Hanoi. Designed by Vietnam-based ODDO architects for YHCT Vinmec, the traditional clinic, in an 1100 sq.m. area, becomes a modern shell for the soul of traditional Vietnamese medicine.

  • The Traditional Clinic SPD presents traditional medicine in a blend of modern and Vietnamese architecture | Traditional Clinic SPD | ODDO Architects | STIRworld
    The Traditional Clinic SPD presents traditional medicine in a blend of modern and Vietnamese architecture Image: Hoang Le, Courtesy of ODDO architects
  • Designed by ODDO architects, the clinic embraces the diversity of the cityscape with the growing skyscrapers in the artisan village area | Traditional Clinic SPD | ODDO Architects | STIRworld
    Designed by ODDO architects, the clinic embraces the diversity of the cityscape with the growing skyscrapers in the artisan village area Image: Hoang Le, Courtesy of ODDO architects

Nestled in the dynamicity of the South-Eastern region of Hanoi, witnessing the drastic changes of urbanisation and growing population, the clinic testifies to a swirl of traditional and modern architecture. Amid the rising number of skyscrapers in the artisan village, the design embraces this diversity and builds upon the new cityscape. The traditional clinic functions on the first and the seventh floor of the building. With a reception area, lounge, drugstore and oriental medicine rooms, the first floor introduces visitors to the basics of traditional medicine. The second floor acts as the main functioning space for the clinic with treatment rooms, drug preparation and dispensing areas, meeting rooms, a lounge and reception.

  • The reception area in the first floor with the circular plan and statement curved wall becomes the heart of the design | Traditional Clinic SPD | ODDO Architects | STIRworld
    The reception area on the first floor with the circular plan and statement curved wall becomes the heart of the design Image: Hoang Le, Courtesy of ODDO architects
  • The design is oriented around the utilisation of natural and traditional materials | Traditional Clinic SPD | ODDO Architects | STIRworld
    The design is oriented around the utilisation of natural and traditional materials Image: Hoang Le, Courtesy of ODDO architects
  • The space imparts the influence of tradition intertwined with a modern, contemporary environment | Traditional Clinic SPD | ODDO Architects | STIRworld
    The space imparts the influence of tradition intertwined with a modern, contemporary environment Image: Hoang Le, Courtesy of ODDO architects

Within the first floor, a cylindrical space anchors the uniqueness of the design. The amalgamation of stone and wood merges in the space to impart a sense of traditional architecture in a contemporary setting. With the wooden design of the curved wall adorned with pine wood bars, in a circular plan, the space hosts the reception and drugstore. Extending the heritage narrative of oriental medicine, the drugstore has herbal medicine drawers with a brass handle and nameplate in the backdrop expressing a resemblance to ancient Asian medicinal storage objects. Furthermore, the floor hosts oriental medical rooms for various treatments.

  • Adding to the presence of traditionality in the interior design, stone pillars adorn the hallways | Traditional Clinic SPD | ODDO Architects | STIRworld
    Adding to the presence of traditionality in the interior design, stone pillars adorn the hallways Image: Hoang Le, Courtesy of ODDO architects
  • The spaces are separated indoors with the use of wooden louvres and medicinal storages | Traditional Clinic SPD | ODDO Architects | STIRworld
    Indoors the spaces are separated with the use of wooden louvres and medicinal storages Image: Hoang Le, Courtesy of ODDO architects
  • The unique aspect of traditional medicine is the use of natural materials and ingredients which the architects have tried to capture in the design as well | Traditional Clinic SPD | ODDO Architects | STIRworld
    The unique aspect of traditional medicine is the use of natural materials and ingredients which the architects have tried to capture in the design as well Image: Hoang Le, Courtesy of ODDO architects
  • The Traditional Clinic SPD aims to preserve and augment the positive values of traditional medicine | Traditional Clinic SPD | ODDO Architects | STIRworld
    The Traditional Clinic SPD aims to preserve and augment the positive values of traditional medicine Image: Hoang Le, Courtesy of ODDO architects

Creating a spatial rhythm, the seventh-floor hosts 31 stone columns that span across the main hallway and frame the horizontal circulation nodes. While placing different treatment rooms aiding the needs of musculoskeletal, mental and oriental medicine, the Vietnamese architects have paid attention to integrating the interior design with ample presence of greenery. Even when the space exists on the seventh floor, without direct connection to the outdoors, the idea of reconnecting with nature indoors is explored through the fenestrations, indoor plants and materials including a unique selection of ceramic tiles. “According to the belief of those who practice this discipline, to effectively cure an ailment, a patient must be treated both physically and mentally. Because of that, the specialised clinical space's design seeks inspiration from the tranquillity of traditional Vietnamese architecture,” state the architects.

  • While adopting contemporary materials in the design, glass partitions are introduced to separate the treatment rooms | Traditional Clinic SPD | ODDO Architects | STIRworld
    While adopting contemporary materials in the design, glass partitions are introduced to separate the treatment rooms Image: Hoang Le, Courtesy of ODDO architects
  • The elegant curve of the wooden wall not only devide each function, but also highlight the image of the traditional pharmacist | Traditional Clinic SPD | ODDO Architects | STIRworld
    The elegant curve of the wooden wall not only divides each function, but also highlights the image of the traditional pharmacist Image: Hoang Le, Courtesy of ODDO architects
  • The vertical architectural elements adds to the spatial hierarchy of the interiors | Traditional Clinic SPD | ODDO Architects | STIRworld
    The vertical architectural elements add to the spatial hierarchy of the interiors Image: Hoang Le, Courtesy of ODDO architects
  • The experiences within the clinical spaces enrich the users’ knowledge and relationship with the natural environment | Traditional Clinic SPD | ODDO Architects | STIRworld
    The experiences within the clinical spaces enrich the user's knowledge and relationship with the natural environment Image: Hoang Le, Courtesy of ODDO architects

While designing the greenery of the interiors, the architects take the opportunity to integrate medicinal plants and herbs into it. Along with providing the space with more liveliness and connection to nature, the plants help the visitors understand the different herbs and their medicinal values. The architects further add, “Each and every formula can be replicated using herbs and plants familiar to every day's living. Thus, the greenery provides people with an alternative means of taking care of their own health, helps them connect more with nature, to become more responsible for their own and nature's well-being and less dependant on western medicine.”

  • By indulging all senses in the design, the architects hope to transform the space into an immersive experience for the user | Traditional Clinic SPD | ODDO Architects | STIRworld
    By indulging all senses in the design, the architects hope to transform the space into an immersive experience for the user Image: Courtesy of ODDO architects
  • The greneery includes herbs and medicinal plants helping the visitors understand the different herbs and their medicinal values | Traditional Clinic SPD | ODDO Architects | STIRworld
    The greenery includes herbs and medicinal plants helping the visitors understand the different herbs and their medicinal values Image: Courtesy of ODDO architects
  • Traditional Clinic SPD: Physical model of the first-floor | Traditional Clinic SPD | ODDO Architects | STIRworld
    Traditional Clinic SPD: Physical model of the first-floor Image: Courtesy of ODDO architects
  • Traditional Clinic SPD: Physical model of the seventh-floor | Traditional Clinic SPD | ODDO Architects | STIRworld
    Traditional Clinic SPD: Physical model of the seventh-floor Image: Courtesy of ODDO architects

Encompassing an experience for all senses, the design of the clinic indulges in presenting spaces to overwhelm the visitors. By using the potential of natural herbs and local materials to impart feelings, the spaces shapeshift from the perspective of healthcare design to a sensorial experience. "The Traditional Clinic SPD project demonstrates a combination of human, architectural and natural elements, utilising the traditional philosophy of medicine to connect and balance each of them. These aspects, under the context of a busy and dynamic modern way of living, provide people with a tranquil refuge, a space in which they are spiritually and physically healed.”

  • Traditional Clinic SPD: Site Plan | Traditional Clinic SPD | ODDO Architects | STIRworld
    Traditional Clinic SPD: Site Plan Image: Courtesy of ODDO architects
  • Traditional Clinic SPD: First-floor plan | Traditional Clinic SPD | ODDO Architects | STIRworld
    Traditional Clinic SPD: First-floor plan Image: Courtesy of ODDO architects
  • Traditional Clinic SPD: Seventh-floor plan | Traditional Clinic SPD | ODDO Architects | STIRworld
    Traditional Clinic SPD: Seventh-floor plan Image: Courtesy of ODDO architects
  • Traditional Clinic SPD: Section of the reception area | Traditional Clinic SPD | ODDO Architects | STIRworld
    Traditional Clinic SPD: Section of the reception area Image: Courtesy of ODDO architects

While reinterpreting healthcare architecture from purpose-built spaces to an experience for the users, architecture steps onto the realm of healing. Amid the many discussion on how architecture can help the medical field, the attempt from ODDO architects to bridge design, traditional medicine and the concepts of health extends a unique perspective to understanding architecture’s role in the typology. Within the last few years of exploring the potential of architecture, the industry has culminated its quest toward an understanding that architecture may have a cure for most problems of the world. Even though it sounds ambitious, the fact is that architecture doesn’t hold the answers to all questions. However, it is definitely engaging in necessary discourses of the current world offering possible interventions.

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