A shortlist of six designs was assessed in depth by an expert jury, who faced the difficult task of choosing a winner. This year’s judges, chosen for their expertise in this category, were: Jason Towers, Senior Healthcare Designer at Perkins + Will, Paul Woolford, Design Director at HOK, Jean Mah, Principal and Healthcare Planner at Perkins + Will and Duane Passman, Director of 3Ts. The panel appreciated the winnings design’s approach to humanising a complex and technologically advanced facility in order to provide a welcoming environment for patients and staff alike.
Duane observed that the winning design defines “a relatively simple facility in conception but an obviously massively complex in function.” The Danish Centre for Proton Therapy is the most advanced radiotherapy centre to date and the only one of its kind in Denmark. The walls of the Centre are up to four metres thick, and contain 14,000 cubic metres of concrete. This construction, combined with some of the most advanced and exclusive equipment for cancer treatment, makes the building unique.
LINK arkitektur focused on ways in which all aspects of the design could reflect the function of the centre and tell the story of precision, which is the key component of proton therapy as a form of treatment. The building is conceived from the inside out, with a strong focus on both functional requirements and interior design. The inner atrium of the centre is a natural orientation axis through the complex, while providing daylight to the ‘backbone’ of the building along the access areas leading to the treatment zones. Textural, warm materials combined with green, hanging gardens ensure an accommodating, yet professional healthcare environment.
The conceptualization process centred on identifying the optimal functionality and ensuring spaciousness and daylight conditions around the building’s inner framework. At the same time, the designers had to ensure optimal conditions for patients and staff in clear, unambiguous pathways and workflows. Jean thought that the concept achieved this balance successfully, commenting: “The rich combination of daylight and multi-floor spaces creates clarity for wayfinding.”
A distinct and individual appearance is added to the exterior through three overlapping architectural elements; an atop lantern, the concrete structure and the façade. This perforated steel façade ties together the building, creating coherence. Duane stated: “The overall colour palate of the main facade and the way it will change appearance during the day is an excellent detail.” The lantern contains offices and meeting facilities, and serves as a landmark and a marker for the building’s entrance. The geometry and resilience of the concrete forms a significant contrast to the ease of the lantern, reminding the spectator of the important function of the centre.
Jason praised the design’s ‘elegant solution’ to the unique brief, while Jean said: “The design concept expression of the major functions through the massing of the building, reinforced with the distinctive use of materials, engages the patient and visitor in the treatment experience even before entering the building.”
We would like to take the opportunity to thank not only the jury, but all who entered their projects into this year’s WAN Future Projects Healthcare Award.
Business Specialist Analyst