A team of 3XN architects, Aarhus Architects, Nickl & Partner Architechten, Grontmij and Kirstine Jensen Studio has won the prestigious competition for the expansion of Copenhagen’s main hospital, Rigshospitalet, which is expected to be completed in early 2017

The winning proposal for the 76,000 m2 extension of Copenhagen’s most centrally located hospital ensures efficient and timesaving logistics, while daylight, green spaces and views of the neighboring park contribute to the wellbeing of patients, staff and visitors.

The building’s shape is characterized by a series of folded v-structures together with a transversal fast track. This unique structure receives praise from the competition’s jury committee: “The benefits for the hospital’s core services are immense. The structure will have a positive impact on the everyday of the staff in the wards, it will give the service personnel the opportunity to effectively move around in the building, and not least, it will give the hospital the opportunity to offer patients more calm and clarity ( ..)”

Partner in Aarhus architects, Mette Dan-Weibel, elaborates: “The positive patient environment will support the treatment and contribute to shorter hospitalization. Moreover, the proximity of the different functions creates short distances for staff and thus optimizes the daily operations “.

The folded v-structure provides space for five atriums that will serve both as comfortable lounge areas and points of orientation that makes way finding easy and logical. Finally, the shape of the building ensures an interior which is characterized by lots of daylight and views of the park and the city.

The integration of sustainable building solutions, gardens and green walls both inside and outside has been a key focus throughout the design process: “The idea is that the integration of a green environment both inside and outside will contribute to an ambience that has a healing effect on patients and will also create a positive physical environment for staff and visitors. At the same time, these features will minimize negative environmental impacts “, says 3XN’s partner and creative director, Kim Herforth Nielsen.

To adapt to the surrounding urban space the building is scaled down from the northwest to the southeast. This means that the building has nine floors up against the existing hospital complex and just four floors towards the street. In this way, the building height matches the classic multi-storey houses on the other side of the street. The facade of glass and light natural stone is angled so that it is partially self shading and visually adapts to the area’s existing building facades.

Besides the construction of the hospital extension the project includes the development of the area’s master plan and the construction of a new patient hotel and multi-storey car park.


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