schmidt hammer lassen architects has won the competition to design the 35,000 sq m extension to the Helsingborg Hospital in the southern part of Sweden. The competition was won in cooperation with Aarhus Arkitekterne, NNE Pharmaplan and landscape architects Kragh & Berglund. The project comprises a new ward for adult psychiatry, an out-patient clinic and medical laboratories. Key to the whole design has been flexibility, a clear layout, variety, human scale, green courtyards and optimal conditions for daylight.
“We have designed a single building, whose architecture relates both to the existing hospital and the surrounding city,” explained Kasper Frandsen, Associate Partner at schmidt hammer lassen architects. “The building is expressed in one sculptural form, which houses three areas of activity: the out-patient clinic and laboratories in the lower and compact levels of the building, while the top levels containing the psychiatric ward open up to a more transparent structure.”
The building is flexible and therefore sustainable with regards to future demands for changing use and functions. It has a uniform sculptural expression, which adapts to the various functionality needs but at the same time corresponds with the scale of the surrounding buildings. The shifting and indented façade creates varying spaces and makes it possible to adapt the structure with open and closed parts depending on the functions behind it.
A hallway makes up the spine of the building and gathers together the different functions in a clear fashion. It has the double function of a dynamic urban street with a fine net of intersections, squares and views to green courtyards.
In the psychiatric ward, the emphasis is on an environment that allows for both relaxation and activities. This will have both a calming and inspiring effect on the patients, who are thereby challenged in a secure setting. The layout of the ward is clear, and the green roofs establish a distinct, undisturbed landscape. The composition of the bed wards creates sheltered, inner courtyards signalling calm and safety. From the upper levels, the patients have a panoramic view over the city and Oresund, which in turn affords plenty of daylight in the rooms.
The layout of the main functions of the building minimises walking distances, optimises daily operations and adjusts to the special needs of the different areas of activity.
“Human beings are the focal point of our approach to designing hospitals. Though we know that the buildings must support rational and efficient clinical operations, we never forget that this is all about people - about individuals with a soul and ability to feel and understand,” observed partner at schmidt hammer lassen architects, Kim Holst Jensen.