A modern, innovative and trend-setting hospital in Austria
The new project for the Provincial Hospital in Klagenfurt is innovative in many ways. The latest Medical Technology along with an enhanced cross-utilisation of medical equipment and facilities (operating rooms, examination and treatment rooms and wards in the logistics field) give this new hospital a pioneering status in Europe. Even before completion, it served as an example to future developments.
The architectural concept is an important part of this modern definition of a hospital. The flat, two-storey building fits well into the landscape on a site where the wetlands of the Glan River close off the land to the north. The footprint of the building is largely determined by landscaped courtyards which open the building up to the site as well as carefully form more private areas for its users. The horizontality of the building is reinforced by the two main access routes: the curved corridor to the north, and the straight corridor which accesses the examination and treatment areas. Large multi-storey glass facades give these zones, which are designated as the waiting and circulation areas, an inviting and more transparent open character.
The hospital is the first in Austria to be certified by the EU as a Green Building, since the heating requirement for the Medical-Surgical Center is 37% below the required value of the EPBD energy and ecology guidelines by the EU. The cooling demand is as much as 41% percent lower. This saves the hospital four gigawatt hours of electricity per year, which corresponds approximately to the performance of two hydroelectric power plants. The investment costs are fully covered by the savings - comparing the previous pavilion structure to the new central structures - up to 4 GWh annually. As a refreshing and straight-forward design proposal, the design for LKH Klagenfurt was chosen as the winner out of a two-stage design competition.
The flat, low-lying structure merges easily with the low and heterogeneous urban surroundings of Klagenfurt. At the north side of the complex lays the floodplain of the river Glan. This scenic green space provides a filter between the urban space of the city and the hospital grounds. The horizontal division of the facade and the tiered structure of the form combine to further integrate the complex into the landscape. The comb-like organisation of the buildings provides a strong visual relationship to the surrounding green areas for both the accommodation and medical wards. Thus the hospital rooms, access halls and waiting areas all become sun-drenched and comfortable health-stimulating light therapy rooms. This tangible connection to the natural surrounds is an integral part of the new Hospital Klagenfurt.