Klinikum Klagenfurt, Austria's third largest hospital, is now the first building in the country to be certified as an EU Green Building. An abundance of natural daylighting, integrated gardens, and a comprehensive energy efficiency strategy set the hospital apart from the rest of the pack. Designed by DFA Dietmar Feichtinger Architectes with the aid ofArchitects.Collective, the new hospital saves an amount of energy equivalent to the production capacity of two hydroelectric plants. The project was also recently the recipient of one of the most important architectural awards in Austria - Austrian Client’s Award 2011.
Conceived as a ‘park hotel’, Klinikum Klagenfurt was laid out to provide a more hospitable character and was surrounded by green space with many garden courtyards interspersed throughout. The hospital is organized around a central surgery spine with multiple patient wings shooting out from the center and into the park. These fingers allow ample daylight to filter into all of the rooms and each may enjoy views into the courtyards or the park, which grows gradually into the gentle riparian meadow landscape. The entire system consists of a surgical-medical center with comprehensive outpatient units, 14 operating theaters, 600 beds and a supply and recycling center consisting of a central kitchen, a pharmacy, a laboratory, and sterilization and laundry facilities.
The hospital is the first in Austria to be certified by the EU as a Green Building due mostly to the facility’s energy efficiency strategies. Half of the facade is covered in glass with the window beginning at seat hight so that patients may enjoy an unobstructed view outside while still in bed. Hospitals are usually very high in energy demand, but the both the heating and cooling demand was noticeably decreased amounting to a total savings of 4 gigawatt hours of electricity every year – similar to reducing the energy production from two hydroelectric plants. Completed in 2010, Klinikum Klagenfurt also received the Carinthian Architecture Prize in 2010 and a Mies van der Rohe Nomination in 2011.
Images ©Hertha Hurnaus