King Khalid Medical City

The largest greenfield project of five integrated medical cities currently underway in the Saudi Kingdom, the King Khalid Medical City (KKMC) is expected to set a new standard for the delivery of complex healthcare for the residents of the Eastern Region.

Anchored by a 1500-bed hospital, the KKMC will focus on delivering the highest quality of patient-centered staff-friendly, family and patient healing environment. The KKMC is designed so that from the moment patients, visitors, students, residents, staff or physicians enter, it will provide the feeling of being in a welcoming space of healing and wellness. A 7-acre garden serves as the central focal point of the medical city, to reduce anxiety and stress by incorporating natural elements in a calm, peaceful and relaxing setting. The garden is isolated from vehicular traffic in order to preserve the pedestrian- and human-focus of this special place.

One of the primary charges to the design team was to visually minimize the large scale of the hospital while preserving operational efficiency and providing the ability to adapt to future change. The hospital features a podium dedicated to specialty outpatient clinics and diagnostic and treatment functions, with four distinct bed towers located upon this base. A broad range of architectural expression within the individual patient towers reinforces the project’s large and complex stature as a “Medical City” while breaking this mega-project down to a more manageable, human scale.

From the main hospital entry, a central circulation spine leads to the dining area and garden, connecting building users with the healing effects of nature. This major public space provides an opportunity for a large-scale commissioned art piece that will further reinforce the hospital’s cultural identity. Special program elements, such as the auditorium, dining area, and children’s pavilion – a unique feature which offers siblings and children of patients a place of respite and play – are pulled away from the hospital structure into the garden, providing for better integration between architecture and landscape.

Other aspects of the 70-acre development include provisions for residential, commercial, educational and recreational uses. The KKMC is distinguished by its focus on both environmental and social sustainability, with the goal of achieving LEED Silver certification – the only medical city to aspire to this level – and a design that reflects and responds to the unique culture of the Eastern Region.

Fundamentally, the KKMC is an essential element of Saudi Arabia’s plans to improve citizens’ access to quality healthcare and medical innovation. When the vision is fully realized, the King Khalid Medical City will be the foundation for a comprehensive health infrastructure and sustainable health future for the people of Dammam and the entire Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia.

Location: Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Size: 3,000,000 square feet (1,500 beds)
Completion date: Estimated completion 2017
Architect of Record: AECOM
Awards and Recognition:
“Best Hospital Design – Future,” Hospital Build Middle East Awards, 2013

Mic Johnson was Design Principal for the King Khalid Medical City while with AECOM.