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Provincial Hospital Steyr, Steyr, Austria

Wednesday 29 Apr 2009

Inside is the new outside

ARGE Architekten LKH Steyr 
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Team M complete construction of competition winning design 

The Steyr provincial hospital is structured as a pavilion system. The various buildings were constructed between 1916 and the present as more space was needed, but there was no clear urban planning concept on which this expansion was based. New urban planning measures were taken to not only define a functional clear profile of the new buildings but also to integrate already existing construction axes and to respect existing building heights.

A clear strategy was developed taking into consideration the heterogeneous structure of the existing buildings (constructed since 1916). The structure of the buildings now shows a clear north-south and east-west orientation. The new traffic concept differentiates the various flows of traffic (ambulance, staff, visitors...) and provides clear orientation throughout the entire hospital.

The urban planning strategy was continued, while giving clear expression to the architecture. Contrasts between full walls and transparent glass pieces, straightforwardness and clear structure are the principles governing the design.

One of the architects' main concerns was to lend the interior space the quality of outside space. In a closed ward such as the psychiatry this is an aspect that is experienced as positive from a medical and therapeutic perspective.

The materials wood (in the bed wing) or brick (in the psychiatry wing) create a cozy atmosphere and a harmonious ambiance. They become an integral part of the project design since the hospital can only offer refuge and be a place for recovery when building material, ground plan, exterior space and surroundings merge to form one consistent structure.

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