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The Northern Railway Diagnostic Center, exemplifies India’s unmatced healthcare progression.

The Northern Railway Diagnostic Center is an offshoot of New Delhi’s coveted Northern Railway Central Hospital, a project showcasing the remarkable strides made in the Indian healthcare landscape.

The Northern Railway Diagnostic Center, an extension of New Delhi’s Northern Railway Central Hospital, embodies India’s healthcare progress. Designed by Creative Designer Architects, this PPP aims to enhance diagnostic and radiology services with state-of-the-art facilities.

The Northern Railway Diagnostic Center is an offshoot of New Delhi’s coveted Northern Railway Central Hospital, a project showcasing the remarkable strides made in the Indian healthcare landscape. Designed by Creative Designer Architects (CDA), the diagnostic centre is a public-private partnership (PPP) between the renowned Sarvodaya Healthcare and Northern Railway Central Hospital (NRCH); the new centre is intended to reinforce NRCH’s diagnostic and radiology arm with state-of-art radio-diagnostic services.

Spread over 3,500 sq. ft; the stand-alone block is an adaptive reuse project that breathes a fresh lease of life into a dilapidated ancillary building of the NRCH campus, which previously housed the laundry facility. With an intent to build a brand-new imaging centre at Northern Railway Central Hospital, this public-private partnership is set to raise the bar of public healthcare facilities in the country, making the facility accessible and affordable to all patients, including railway beneficiaries, both retired and working, as well as any patient seeking high-quality imaging services.

A seamless shaded pedestrian access from the existing Northern Railway Central Hospital leads to the entrance lobby of the diagnostic centre, which leads the patients to a 10-foot-wide corridor allowing access to all radio-diagnostic areas.

Unparalleled Functionality

At NRDC, functionality takes centre stage. The space is efficiently segregated into different departments to ensure a seamless flow of operations. The facility houses cutting-edge diagnostic services, including MRI, CT scan, X-Ray, USG, DEXA scan, and Mammography. This comprehensive range of services provides patients with timely and accurate diagnoses. The diagnostic centre is designed to be patient-friendly and ADA-compliant to accommodate individuals with disabilities or special needs. Step-free access, wider door widths, handrails, grab bars, and braille signage cater to the diverse requirements of patients.

NRDC goes beyond just providing exceptional medical services. The facility features a VIP lounge that serves as a collaborative space for NGOs and charitable groups to engage in social discussions. By fostering a sense of community and collective responsibility, NRDC supports healthcare and catalyzes positive social change.

Design Approach

CDA has taken a minimalist contemporary approach in the design of the exterior by using white and grays along with quaint earthy hues – reddish browns derived from Indian railways. The railway influence can also be seen in the articulation of the openings, like small rectangular windows and curved vertices, monochrome fluted aesthetic clad in gray grooved texture paint with aluminium panelling which intends to express the campus legacy, context and a spectacle of the present zeitgeist.

Explaining the design details Ravideep Singh, Principal Architect, Creative Designer Architects says,  “The interiors are designed to promote patient comfort. The large transparent entrance lobby is adorned with warm healing colours in beige and brown shades and smooth curved forms that have been derived from neuro-aesthetic design principles. This design approach significantly reduces stress levels for patients, creating a soothing atmosphere exuding a sense of tranquility. The durable granite flooring is designed to withstand the high footfall of outpatient traffic, ensuring the centre’s longevity and efficiency.”

A User-Centric and Sustainable Approach

NRDC prioritises patient comfort in every aspect of its design. Diagnostic rooms are thoughtfully designed with minimal exposure to natural light as, technically, diagnostic rooms are supposed to be dark, which is crucial for accurately reading various shades of grey for precise diagnoses. However, it has been found that these dark spaces could come across as intimidating to patients and cause stress. Studies and research demonstrate that mimicking nature colours, visuals, and lighting can help positively address these concerns. Therefore, both the MRI and CT scan rooms were designed with illuminated skylights with natural colours, patterns, and lighting to ease patients psychologically.

NRDC’s commitment to sustainability is evident through its integration of eco-friendly practices. The adaptive reuse of the existing building adds character and reduces environmental impact. Solar panels have been installed to harness clean energy, contributing to the centre’s reduced carbon footprint. Furthermore, solar passive space planning optimises natural daylight usage, minimises heat gain, and enhances energy efficiency.

With its visionary design, the Northern Railway Diagnostic Center exemplifies the synergy between healthcare advancement and design innovation. Through the collaboration of public and private entities, this facility aims to bridge the healthcare gap and redefine healthcare experiences for patients and practitioners alike. By combining modern aesthetics, functionality, patient comfort, sustainability, and inclusivity, NRDC sets a new benchmark for diagnostic centres in India, paving the way for a brighter and healthier future for all.

Material Details

ACP/ Glass/Concrete: Aludecor

Sanitary ware/Fittings: Kohler

Flooring:  Tarkett, Kajaria, RK marbles                                   

Furnishing: Newport                    

Furniture:  Bespoke                                  

Air Conditioning: Daikin  

Lighting: Bespoke, Philips                      

Paint: Asian Paints            

Arts/Artefacts:  Bespoke                       

Elevator: Thyssenkrup

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