The new assuta hospital, tel aviv

The new assuta hospital, tel aviv

The Assuta hospital has always been associated with private medicine and plenty of money - a kind of capitalist version rising high above the social policy of public medicine. The first of seven of its type in the country, the original hospital was established by doctors who had freshly immigrated from Germany in the early 1930s - educated ?Yekkes? that quickly took their place as a social elite, later overseeing important economic posts as well. Planned in 1934 by architect Joseph Neufeld, Assuta lies quietly on Zabotinski St. Tel Aviv. An elegant yet modest Bauhaus building with all of its 72 rooms facing the sea, and a back courtyard lending an atmosphere of a European rest-home.

Thanks to its modern equipment, the adjacent nursing school and beneficial employment conditions - the prestigious hospital soon drew top doctors and nurses as well as the country?s rich, and high officials of the Mandate.

Over the last years, particularly after the Law of Public Medicine was passed, private medicine has started to flourish, and with it the private hospitals. A leading example of the phenomenon is the new Assuta hospital inaugurated recently in the hi-tech area of Ramat-Hahayal, near the Yarkon Park.

The planning task was allotted to the Canadian architecture office Zeidler, with Israeli architect Marcelo Brestovisky serving as the local consultant. At a later stage the planning team was joined by architect office Ami Moore, who subsequently joined the Yaski-Sivan office.

The division of labor was clear-cut: the Zeidler Partnership Architects would handle the exterior, Brestovisky Architects - the planning and interior design, and Moore-Yaski-Sivan were in charge of the building permit and working plans, as well as the parking and part of the public areas.

This cooperation yielded a multi-form post-modern structure, which could easily have contained other commercial functions typical of the area. The proximity to the heavy traffic of the lively industrial zone was almost diametrically opposed to the tranquil hospital of the 1930s, although a sort of compensation may be seen in the proximity to the Yarkon Park.

The building is composed of two masses placed one on top of the other. The lower one, coated in red granite, houses the medical services with the operation rooms on top, while the upper structure - its white exterior reminiscent of the historical building - contains the hospitalization rooms. A central three story passage begins on one side at the entrance from Habarzel St., passes through an impressive section which opens to the park, and ends in the staff dining hall at the other end. Along it are scattered several public functions - such as shops, caf?, seminar rooms and a hovering synagogue.

The first floor holds the dialysis ward, waiting areas for the out-patient clinic, and administration.

The second floor - the catheterization department, the imaging ward, labs and day hospitalization.

Constituting the heart of every private hospital, the third floor holds 12 operation rooms. Adjacent to these are the operation wing and intensive care unit, and the waiting hall for families, leading up to the fourth floor, with four additional ambulatory operation rooms.

The tower includes six hospitalization wards on three floors. Most of the hospitalization rooms (reminiscent of modern hotel rooms) face the park, with half of them containing only one patient bed, with an optional bed for accompanying person. Service and staff rooms face Habarzel St.

Functionally, each floor is divided into areas accessible to the service receivers and areas designated only for the patients and the staff. This distinction - maintained both horizontally and vertically, is expressed in separate elevators for the patients, who needn?t be exposed to the eyes of passersby when moved to operation rooms, or in the various ambulatory wards.

To avoid pollution, all the systems are electrically operated, except for the generator, which naturally works on solar so as to be employed in case of electricity failure.

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