AEP Architekten Eggert design for a new children's hospital in North Germany
The Christian Children's Hospital Osnabrück (CKO) held a European-wide architectural competition to design a children's hospital. AEP Architekten Eggert Generalplaner was awarded with the 1st prize in 2006. The brief consisted of the integration of two somatic children departments in Osnabrück, Germany, which should lead to a single, independent children's hospital. The aim was to improve the medical and economical situation of youth and children's treatment.
As a centre for child and adolescent medicine, there are a total of 141 hospital beds and outpatient places available. Up to 70 parents can stay overnight right next to their sick children. The clinical services include nursing wards for newborn, infants, school children, teenagers, an intensive care unit, a neonatology unit, a day-clinic and a cystic fibrosis centre. The compact volume of the building with its ellipsoidal two-way finding concept offers an internal crossing bridge, which guarantees short distances. The connection to the existing building is formed as a joint.
The design offers a future expansion area for i.e. a new ward building. The central atrium on the ground floor is a meeting and common area for young and old people. A kiddy slide situated the rear of the atrium spins form the first floor down to the ground floor by 360°. An open, sculptural staircase is clearly visible and connects all floors. Last but not least, a spacious outdoor playground welcomes children of all ages.
The A+E and the X-ray departments are located adjacent on ground floor with short distances to all floors above. The upper floors accommodate the children wards by age. The neonatal and pediatric intensive care unit is on the fourth floor together with an allocated area for parents. Parents rooming-in was an essential aspect during the design concepts: bespoke furniture allowed for an age-specific, habitable and highly functional interior design.
The bedrooms are orientated along the quiet exterior wall of the building. All circulation and communication areas, such as the outpatient departments, admission, play and staff areas are orientated to the inner court yard. The nursing stations are located centrally and allow viewing for improved control, communication and safety. During night shifts, such ward support areas still remain manageable, when sharing them.
The room depth of 5.6m allows for optimal layout configurations for all of the various types of bedrooms. The basic idea of the bedroom is a bright, trapezoid shaped area, where each patient has their own personal room half, therefore when relatives visit their children, intimacy and private space is provided. Each floor has its own distinct colour code for better orientation. Landscape themes are used for guidance and orientation; the ground floor lends itself the theme of the sea and Antarctica. This is followed by a forest and meadow theme one floor up. The beach and dune theme can be seen on the second floor, followed by the light yellow sun and sky theme on the top floor. Animal and plant symbols address rooms and reception desks.