With the increasing demands of health care, the design of hospital buildings has become increasingly demanding and complicated. However, the traditional layout design method for hospital is labor intensive, time consuming and prone to errors. With the development of artificial intelligence (AI), the intelligent design method has become possible and is considered to be suitable for the layout design of hospital buildings. Two intelligent design processes based on healthcare systematic layout planning (HSLP) and generative adversarial network (GAN) are proposed in this paper, which aim to solve the generation problem of the plane functional layout of the operating departments (ODs) of general hospitals. The first design method that is more like a mathematical model with traditional optimization algorithm concerns the following two steps: developing the HSLP model based on the conventional systematic layout planning (SLP) theory, identifying the relationship and flows amongst various departments/units, and arriving at the preliminary plane layout design; establishing mathematical model to optimize the building layout by using the genetic algorithm (GA) to obtain the optimized scheme. The specific process of the second intelligent design based on more than 100 sets of collected OD drawings includes: labelling the corresponding functional layouts of each OD plan; building image-to-image translation with conditional adversarial network (pix2pix) for training OD plane layouts, which is one of the most representative GAN models. Finally, the functions and features of the results generated by the two methods are analyzed and compared from an architectural and algorithmic perspective. Comparison of the two design methods shows that the HSLP and GAN models can autonomously generate new OD plane functional layouts. The HSLP layouts have clear functional area adjacencies and optimization goals, but the layouts are relatively rigid and not specific enough. The GAN outputs are the most innovative layouts with strong applicability, but the dataset has strict constraints. The goal of this paper is to help release the heavy load of architects in the early design stage and present the effectiveness of these intelligent design methods in the field of medical architecture.