herzog & de meuron is set to start construction work on its first building in zurich after plans were approved for a 200-bed children’s hospital. the project, named ‘kinderspital zürich’ or children’s hospital zurich, will be the largest in switzerland for both inpatient and outpatient care of children and adolescents. the development is scheduled for completion in 2022, a decade after the swiss firm originally won an international competition to design the new facility in 2012.

herzog de meuron kinderspital zurich
the facility will be the largest in switzerland for both inpatient and outpatient care of children
image © herzog & de meuron (also main image)

 

 

herzog & de meuron’s design for kinderspital zürich consists of two buildings: the relatively low-lying hospital and a neighboring research center. unlike conventional hospital buildings, where patients are often bounced back and forth among various departments, the horizontal nature of the scheme allows for a more cohesive and holistic patient experience. ‘the large horizontal shape of the hospital defines the holistic nature of the building, characterized from inside out by a delicacy of material detail,’ says the design team.

herzog de meuron kinderspital zurich
the façade can be filled with a range of different surfaces to meet daylight and privacy requirements
image © herzog & de meuron

 

 

the layout of the hospital follows an urban grid where departments correspond to ‘neighborhoods’ and each floor has a main street. meanwhile, internal courtyards not only provide daylight, but also structure the right-angled layout of the rooms. the ground floor — the hospital’s most public zone — accommodates the main facilities for examination and treatment as well as an emergency room, intensive care and operating rooms. the first lower level includes a restaurant and access to therapy services.

herzog de meuron kinderspital zurich
the hospital’s foyer is organized around a circular courtyard
image © herzog & de meuron

 

 

the second story contains around 600 workplaces for medical and administrative staff, while the top floor — the most private area of the hospital — contains four wards that accommodate 114 rooms between them. arranged in a ring structure oriented towards the outside, the rooms have been designed like small houses that offer both privacy and pleasant external views. ‘the façade of the hospital is a weave of various materials,’ explains herzog & de meuron. ‘the primary, repetitive concrete framework is part of the support structure and resembles shelves usable at both ends that bracket the first and second floors.’ this configuration allows the framework to be filled with a range of different surfaces (including wood, glass, fabric, or plants) to meet the daylight and privacy needs of each room.

herzog de meuron kinderspital zurich
an agora for teaching can be configured to suit a wide variety of programs
image © herzog & de meuron

 

 

to the north, the site’s research center contains rooms for university hospital uses within a cylindrical, white structure. internally, a five-story high atrium provides a central space for researchers. below, an agora for teaching can be configured to suit a wide variety of programs. the upper five stories house research and diagnostic laboratories as well as attendant offices with permanent workplaces. construction work on site is set to start in spring 2018, with a planned completion date scheduled for 2022.

herzog de meuron kinderspital zurich
the research center contains rooms for university hospital uses within a cylindrical, white structure
image © herzog & de meuron

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