Denmark’s New Aalborg University Hospital in Northern Jutland is a new health care facility that was master-planned as part of the government’s health reform. Designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, this 330,000 square-meter master plan includes 134,500 square-meters of hospital buildings and 17,000 square-meters of space for the Faculty of Health Science of Aalborg University. The design incorporates a host of green building strategies, and it will be constructed over 17 years starting in 2013.
The New Aalborg University Hospital plan was presented by a consortium of design firms including: Creo Architects, Aarhus Architects, NNE Pharmaplan, Brix & Kamp Consulting Engineers, Oluf Jorgensen Consulting Engineers, Royal Haskoning (NL), Architect Kristine Jensens Tegnestue, Bjork & Maigard, and Norconsult. The team engaged the existing Aalborg University planning in order to smoothly transition the new hospital master plan into the adjacent landscape. Special attention was paid to the size and scale of the new buildings in order to create an environment that reflects an urban structure of varied streets, paths, and courtyards to invite the public into the facility. Conversely, the planning also works well for those occupying the new hospital. The interior spaces are bathed with natural light and a close connection to the natural landscape.
The overall architectural approach of the building is focused around individuals. The mission of the hospital was to create an environment that exuded comfort and security for those being cared for in their facilities. The interior reflects a poetic diversity of materials and spaces that makes the institution less formal and more personal. Beautiful views and natural daylight help to create this warm and inviting space. The daylight is screened by a louvered façade, which helps to mitigate excessive heat gain without sacrificing views.
Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects located outpatient clinic services at the east ground floor entrance, while emergency services are located in the west on higher terrain. These two programmatic spaces are separated but remain close in vertical circulation. Vertical circulation also helps to connect all functions to the inner streets of the whole facility. This inner street network is the main artery of the hospital and helps to create an interdisciplinary circulation network that helps to share the clinical work.
Overall, the design team of the New Aalborg University Hospital created a beautiful new facility that helps to heal patients not only by medical care but also through connectivity to nature. Daylighting and views will certainly help to create a beautiful and sustainable facility that heals both the user and the environment. As the judges stated in their review of this design: “The team has succeeded in creating a functional hospital with references to the human scale in both the interior and the exterior”.