A District Planning and Construction Sub-Committee has approved plans to enlarge and upgrade Haifa's Rambam Hospital while preserving the original architect-designed buildings, reports www.mynet.co.il. The newly approved plans, which add to building work currently being carried out at the hospital, will see the construction of additional buildings, car parks and open public spaces on a 110-dunam site. According to the report, although renovation work is currently taking place, the hospital is made up of buildings crowded into a relatively small space, and lacks spacious protected areas for emergencies. The new plans would integrate new buildings with the old one, which was designed in the early 20th century by famed German Jewish architect Eric Mendelsohn, who also designed the Weizmann home in Rehovot and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. A number of residents and business owners in surrounding streets objected to the plans on the grounds of increased traffic congestion, but the committee ultimately approved the plans, emphasizing the local and national importance of the project.