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Centro Hospitalario Serena Del Mar is Safdie Architects’ first project in Latin America

Healthcare Facilities

Centro Hospitalario Serena Del Mar is Safdie Architects’ first project in Latin America

The hospital project is characterized by its connectivity to nature.


By David Malone, Managing Editor | November 12, 2021
CHSM exterior
Courtesy Safdie Architects

The new Centro Hospitalario Serena del Mar (CHSM), the first hospital designed by Safdie Architects and the firm’s first project to open in Latin America, will provide a critical new resource for Cartagena, Colombia and the Caribbean region.

The hospital anchors the Safdie Architects-designed masterplan for the El Gran Canal civic district within Serena del Mar, a new 2,500-acre city currently in development on the Caribbean coast just north of Cartagena. CHSM is the first public-facing institution to open in the master-planned city, establishing Cartagena’s first full-service medical institution.

The teaching hospital offers comprehensive human-centered medical care and is premised on the notion that access to nature and daylight is vital to creating improved therapeutic experiences for patients, families, and staff. The hospital began a phased open to the public earlier this year with 158 beds. Phase 1 of the hospital comprises approximately 575,870 sf.

CHSM courtyard

CHSM is conceived as a garden hospital overlooking a lake. The design offers patients, staff, and families access to a diverse array of gardens throughout the building including a linear bamboo courtyard, a healing garden associated with cancer treatment, and a series of lakeside gardens connected by a waterfront promenade.

Inpatient facilities are housing in five wings designed with shallow floor plates to maximize the spaces with direct proximity to windows, daylight, and views of the surrounding lake, hills, gardens, and courtyards. Even in areas such as emergency rooms, labs, and clinics, daylight and views to nature are maintained.

When 100% complete, CHSM will service the region with over 400 hospital beds. The completed project will span 753,480-sf of hospital facilities and gardens.

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