Recently completed by Dietmar Feichtinger Architectes with Architects Collective, the Klinikum Klagenfurt received the Austrian Client's Award 2011 because it represents a re-definition of a de-centralized low garden city and offers a easy-to-find orientation system and quality of life for patients and visitors' offers, says jury member, architect and author Otto Kapfinger. "A clear color and way-finding system, pleasant transparency, an abundance of natural light in a simple network of circulation spaces, a "light' spatial structure, as well as differentiated landscaped courtyards creating a peaceful, human-centric environment" said Kapfinger further. Ines Manegold, CEO of the client KABEG, mentions something that is unique for such a large project: "The project is quite unique, both in terms of having been built in-time, as well within the targeted cost."
Two hydroelectric power stations saved
The hospital is the first hospital in Austria, which was certified by the EU as a Green Building. The energy concept is compeling: The heating requirement for the Medical-Surgical Center is 37 percent below the required value of the EPBD energy and ecology guidelines by the EU. The cooling demand is as much as 41 percent lower. This saves the hospital four gigawatt hours of electricity per year, which corresponds approximately to the performance of two hydroelectric power plants. The investment costs are fully covered by the savings –which can be refinanced by comparing the previous pavilion structure to the new central structures – up to 22 million € annually.
Natural light and high-tech
46 percent of the façade are made of glass, sometimes across several floors, esteblishing a direct visual connection to the river. The bottom of the window is in seat height so that the patients have an unobstructed view oft he landscape while lying in bed. The examination rooms and 14 operating rooms are equipped with modern amenities, such as a CT scanner on rails, in order to allow for faster diagnosis during the surgery than usual. "The infrastructure of the hospital is medically fantastic and one oft he best in Europe" Angrés Matthias, chief medical officer says after the construction. A good example is the central emergency point with its interdisciplinary, specialized team that provides the optimal care of patients.
Relation to the landscape
The direct link between the patients and staff to the lush riverside and planted courtyards is an integral part of the architectural concept. Each garden courtyard between the different programs of the hospital is differentiated by the specific design and color of its diverse vegetation. This means that these green spaces can also be used as references for orientation within the complex. The ground cover and vegetation is given ample soil and space to grow and mature in the coming years as the landscape becomes increasingly more natural.
A uniform structure
Upon arrival, a generously sized canopy greets visitors and steers them towards the two-story entrance hall. The open, glazed eastern facade of the main hospital building is mirrored by the glass facade of the cafeteria in the supply center to the west. A light, enclosed pedestrian bridge suspended from the main buildings connects these two units. Bus stops are located on either side of the road, along with the main entrance to the parking garage. Emergency vehicles have their own designated lane which branches off to the west and leads to the emergency room. An open visitor parking area and a second entrance to the garage are located to the west of the building. The design creates a functionally coherent organizational structure with simple routing and good guidance from the two key circulation areas: the straight outpatient treatment corridor and the main visitor path to the north. Spacious glass facades give these corridors and the waiting areas an open, welcoming character through the use of bright, fresh colors. The supply and disposal logistics center is located along the main access route towards the east. The center builds upon the set U-shaped modular building structure established by the rest of the complex. A chapel and prayer room are located in the northern section of the complex. This area is distinguished by its materiality (wood) and design style. The altar is hung from the ceiling and placed nearby a large-format glass image from the local artist Karl Brandstätter.
The bright, naturally lit rooms have been designed to create an intimate relationship with the courtyards in order to provide a comfortable hotel atmosphere. The dark gray metal skin of the building provides the background for the busy planting of courtyards, and gives the building an identity which does not automatically induce the feeling of a hospital. The grey metallic color of the exterior cladding lends an industrial character to the building. The color and finish of the material plays with the daylight to make the courtyards brighter or darker according to the time of day. The dark color of the skin also has a positive effect on the thermal performance of the building. The alternation of glazed and clad sections of the façade introduces a rhythm along the surface of the exterior. The yellow window awnings in their extended state work to further animate the façade. The horizontality of these aspects of the design serves to further elongate the building and avoid monumentality.
Organization of the Surgical-Medical Center (CMZ)
The primary circulation of the building is from the north-east corner to the entrance hall in the center of the hospital grounds. The main entrances are all easily reached by bike or public transit from the city center. Western access to the CMZ is also connected to the parking garage and the open visitor's car park. To take advantage of natural lighting, the programmed spaces are east-west oriented. The specialty medical and outpatient departments are organized along the central patient corridor which forms the structural and functional spine of the facility. The wards and medical units are accessed via the two main east-west corridors and through the entrance hall. North-south corridors run along the courtyards and connect the wards with the central clinic building to the south. Each ward is equipped with a compact unit of two nursing stations which are centrally located with easy access to the supply/disposal system. All hospital rooms and lounges are oriented towards the courtyards to take advantage of natural light. The intensive care wards are located in the immediate vicinity of the operating area located on the first floor. These wards are connected to the operating rooms by internal corridors at the nursing stations. Waiting areas for patients and visitors are placed along the large northern corridor. The surgical center is located on the first floor of the south wing, with the administrative area directly above. The center is directly connected to the emergency room on the ground floor, and the helicopter landing pad above.
The parking garage runs on the first basement level under the outpatient clinic center, and
extends east to the logistics center. The new media collector system runs along the road at this first
basement level from the energy center of the VEZ to the center of the CMZ. Parallel to this system runs
the underground tunnel system which is facilitates the disposal of waste and the delivery of supplies. All
of these areas will be operated by using an automated guided vehicle system (AGV). The outpatient
centers at the south wing and the specialty medical departments are all directly connected to nursing
stations. The medical departments on the ground floor, surgery departments on the first floor, and
nursing stations on the ground, first and second floors can all be accessed via the two main east-west
corridors and through the main entrance hall. The curved southern corridor accesses the wards and
serves as a communication axis for the patient. This simple spatial arrangement of departments and
access is achieved through the utilization of spacious garden courtyards.
Supply and waste disposal center (VEZ)
The VEZ is responsible for supplying all of the energy, heat, steam, logistics, pharmaceuticals, sterile goods, and dining and laundry supplies to LKH Klagenfurt. In addition to this, the VEZ is also the central repository for waste disposal. Like the CMZ, the VEZ is located between two large corridors, and contains inner courtyards.Though it functions at the scale and scope of an industrial building, special consideration was given to maintain the same living and working conditions awarded to the patients and staff of the CMZ. The courtyards create large areas of green space which serve as outdoor spaces for staff while on break, and provide a garden view for the cafeteria.
EU Green Building Certificate
Established in 2005 the "Green Building" certification by the European Commission aims at improving the energy efficiency of buildings in the EU. In order to be certified the building must demonstrate an energy savings (heating and cooling) of more than 25% below the minimum values of the OIB (Austrian Institute for Building Technology) Directive 6. The OIB is the Austrian implementation of the EPBD directive (Energy Performance of Buildings Directive) of the EU for the overall energy efficiency of buildings. 500 "Green Buildings" within the EU have been certified so far, among them 30 in Austria by the national partners of ÖGNB (Austrian Society for Sustainable Building). The certification of the CMZ (Surgical- Medical Center) of the Hospital of Klagenfurt was filed by the owner, the KABEG (Carinthian Hospital Association) in September 2011 and the building became the first hospital of this size in Austria to receive it. The building is distinguished by its compact building structure, very good thermal insulation of the outer shell and optimized building technology systems with heat recovery. the low cooling demand was controlled centrally and reached movable external shading and energy-saving lighting systems. the heating requirement of the building is 36 percent and the cooling demand 41 percent below the required values of the OIB guidelines.
Prizes and Awards
Carinthian Architecture Awards 2010
Nominated for the EU Mies van der Rohe Award 2011
Austrian Clients Awards 2011
Project type: General hospital including medical-surgical and supply center
Client: LKH Klagenfurt
Architecture: Dietmar Feichtinger Architectes, Architects Collective
Floor area: 145.000 m²
Planung planning: 04/2003 - 10/2006
Construction: 10/2006 - 06/2010
Building costs: € 314.000.000