Architects Herzog & de Meuron have designed a new Children's Hospital in the Lengg district of Zurich. The project required a two-phase planning selection procedure, and has its planned completion date in 2018. The design for the children's hospital consists of two complementary buildings of contrasting typology, programme and urban design, yet still geometrically related. The main hospital building facilitates examination and treatment of children and adolescents, while the teaching and research centre houses scientific work.
The children's hospital is a 3-story building arranged around a series of courtyards like a small, introspective town. In-patients, out-patients and their relatives can move around freely between the different treatment areas. The 3-level arrangement reflects the desire to create a child-friendly building both in scale and materiality, and differs the usual hospital stereotype. Wood is used for façades and interiors, creating a more domestic atmosphere for children, their parents and hospital staff. The use of wood also echoes the rural surroundings of the Lengg district. The interior courtyards open up intermittently to the outside, allowing daylight to permeate the low, deep building.
Although the two building types are to be used differently, they remain architecturally related. Both feature an overlay of rectangular and circular geometries. In the children's hospital, the circle is used to break the right-angle-based order and to mark specific areas of the building, such as points of orientation, meeting points or transitional areas. The teaching and research centre is a meeting point in its own right, forming a sub-centre on the hospital campus.
Herzog & de Meuron: Kinderspital Zurich
Partners: Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Christine Binswanger (Partner in Charge)
Project Team: Mark Bähr (Project Manager), Jason Frantzen (Associate), Alexandria Algard, Alexander Franz, Ondrej Janku, Christoph Jantos, Johannes Kohnle, Blanca Bravo Reyes, Raúl Torres Martin, Mika Zacharias
Client: Kinderspital Zürich – Eleonorenstiftung, Zurich
Total floor area: 84,579 square metres
Structural engineering: ZPF Ingenieure AG, Basel
Landscaping: August Künzel, Münchenstein
General planning: Gruner AG, Basel
Visualisation: Bloomimages, Hamburg