for relatives to stay overnight. Totalling 20 m2

(plus a 7 m2 “hygienic room” i.e.

ensuite), their larger than standard-size also enables multidisciplinary teams including researchers from the Institute to work easily without compromising the patient’s dignity. The treatment rooms are placed along the facades, many overlooking the internal landscaped courtyards. Theatres, treatment rooms, staff areas and conference rooms also benefit from good levels of daylighting. Intensive care units are organised differently from normal patient areas, with 25 m2

rooms and a nurses

station each overlooking a pair of rooms. Generally speaking, floor to floor height is 4.9 metres, with the rooms’ generous dimensions being assisted by the corridors taking the brunt of services in their ceiling voids.

Materials & colours CONNECTION

The hospital consists of five core buildings linked to other buildings on the site via two skyways, and a surrounding lower-rise ‘mantle’ All images © Fredrik Sweger

Christine Hammarling says that the design team “strove for a sense of nature,” and this is present in some of the materials, for example the wood frames found throughout the building. While there are a lot of concrete surfaces, the public areas, including the entrance hall and the fourth level circulation in the ‘mantle’, have natural granite floorcovering. Adjacent to lift lobbies, these are “kind of lounges opened up to the city between the core buildings,” says Hammarling.

There is solar control glass to the south of the building, facing the city, and the facade under the helipad has double glazing with an especially large cavity to cope with added noise.


Client: Stockholm County Council Architect: WhiteTengbomTeam Contractor: Skanska Interior design: Nyréns Arkitekter Cost: 16.2bn SEK (£1.4bn) No. of design team staff: 120 Floor area: 330,000 m2 No. of beds: 1340

A rich colour concept was developed, inspired by the changing of seasons. Each of the core buildings has an strong individual colour scheme in clinical areas, ranging from green, to orange, blue, red and yellow, to assist patients with wayfinding given the huge size of the building. Patient rooms and circulation have a calmer colour palette, the former sporting a pale yellow floor colouring. The wood effect bedhead units in the patient rooms have been designed to resemble the ash frames, and to organise the services in an efficient way to optimise patient care.

The new hospital has what is thought to be the largest “public display” of art in Sweden. Ranging from new installations, to relocated works, and newly commissioned wall art, the programme has been carefully specified, including in areas where patients


don’t normally get to see the therapeutic benefits of art, such as in imaging units.

Flexibility & adaptability Christine Hammarling says that the ‘thematic’ concept that drove the design is particularly useful when it comes to the future flexibility essential for major hospitals: “The idea about the generality of the thematic concept is that you can organise the departments either vertically or horizontally as you want, over time. They can be located nearly anywhere.” Other specific examples of adaptability include the eastern end of the whole block, which has been designed to be extended on in future as changing requirements dictate. In addition, the ‘hybrid’ nature of several operating theatres means they can be adapted for use by any of the hospital’s departments, as well as used for x-rays. The hospital, despite its size, has the agility to be able to flex according to need, rather than functions being fixed. Lastly, further future adaptability was provided by “robust joists” – as Christine Hammarling explains. “It was a principle to have a small area at the edges of each core building, where you can expand and develop future installations [of infrastructure such as services] within the existing service risers. This would mean that an area could be rebuilt to support a new care activity in the future without disturbing surrounding functions. One of the aspects that sees the hospital already living in the future is the presence of Autonomous Guided Vehicles (robot porters, basically). These low vehicles carry all supplies from a central hub, using prescribed routes and dedicated lifts.


Stockholm County Council continues to grapple with the triple challenge of a growing, ageing population, a renowned research institution and hospital needing to collaborate, and a changing healthcare technology landscape calling for a looser-fit building for the future.

It has the possible answer to all three in the Karolinska University Hospital. The architects have combined to produce something that is a flexible, futureproofed structure for healthcare; it locks into its urban fabric with precision-designed efficiency, but does not ignore the holistic needs of its end users – patients, staff, students and visitors. In fact, the human-focused design of Sweden’s newest major hospital puts them front and centre. 


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84