The board of Kinderspital Zürich announced that Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron has been selected to design a new children’s hospital in Zurich. The plan calls for two buildings: a rectangular, three-story children’s hospital and a round, six-story center for teaching and research. Both buildings will be interrupted by large, plant-filled courtyards that will bring natural light into the buildings, while giving patients and workers a place to step outside and take in some fresh air.
The Children’s Hospital will be made of wood, echoing the surroundings of Zurich’s Lengg district. Wood will also be used in the facades and interiors, giving the facility a warm, organic tone in contrast to more common hospital building materials. Herzog and de Meuron, designers of the famed Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing, describe the three-story hospital, with is arranged around several courtyards, as being similar to a small, introspective town. And according to the architects, the circular central courtyard in the middle of the round Centre for Teaching and Research will follow the course of the sun.
The courtyards don’t represent the only green space on the new hospital campus, though; both buildings will be surrounded by green space, and aerial renderings show a green roof on the Children’s Hospital. A design competition was held from 2010 to 2011 to design the new buildings, and the selection of Herzog & de Meuron was announced in May 2012.