Herzog & de Meuron Basel Ltd.
4056 Basel, Switzerland
Phone: +41 61 385 5757
The hospital is surrounded by nature and contains a garden in its center. The horizontality of the building and its undulating form responds to the location of the hospital in the midst of the wide Danish landscape. A horizontal building is an appropriate building typology for a hospital, because this fosters exchange: across the various departments, the employees work on a shared goal: the healing of the ailing human being. The new hospital shall overcome conventional operational borders. The tall hospitals of the last decades, with their functionalist language, have rarely achieved this goal.
The plan is the marriage of two seemingly contradictory goals: the desire for a large central garden and the necessity for short internal connections. The result is an organic cross shape that permits the interior garden to become a flowing space. A central hall underneath the garden is characterized by four round courtyards. The hospital pulsates from here.
Viewed in section, the arrangement of the functions is simple: two floors for examination and treatment form a pedestal upon which a two-story ribbon of wards is placed along the perimeter, forming the large central garden. In the pedestal, on both levels, connections to the outdoors are created in various ways. Courtyards provide daylight and vistas, and ease orientation. Large connected areas, the repetitive arrangement of the interior courtyards, and uniform room sizes offer a high degree of flexibility. Later changes of functions can be easily realized.
Two basic principles guide the organization of uses within the pedestal:
1. The more frequented a department, the more central its location. 2. The main streams of outpatients and inpatients are separated vertically. Each level of the pedestal serves one primary stream.
The pedestal is mineral with a slender, vertical facade structure, permitting a high degree of flexibility while offering visual protection at the same time. The courtyard facades could be clad in differing materials; they create orientation and variety. The pedestal contains the functions of the hospital that are used by everyone, which is reflected in its continuous facade. The pedestal is an expression of community.
The wards, in contrast, express privacy and small scale. They are made of lightweight prefabricated modules: two by two patient rooms respectively create a small rectangular house of metal or wood. The bathrooms are located in between, set back. They are polygonal and give the ribbon its undulating shape. The plan resembles a spine. The patients’ rooms offer generous views into the treetops or across the wide central garden. From this viewpoint, the hospital looks like a two-story complex.
The landscaping concept consists of two typical Danish landscape typologies. A forest park with clearings for parking lots surrounds the building, while the central garden is Heathland. Circular hedges inhibit views into the pedestal and create the path network of the garden.
This project will be the heart of the new masterplan of Hillerød South.
Herzog & de Meuron, 2014
“We are very happy to have been awarded the New North Zealand Hospital in Hillerød. Together with the hospital’s representatives, a project was developed demonstrating that architectural ambition and functionality can come together in a hospital. The choice of the jury is a seminal sign to architects and the entire health-care sector: low, flat hospital buildings can be better integrated in the city or the countryside than the high-rises structures that were often realized in the last decades.”
“The hospital organically reaches out into the wide landscape. Simultaneously its soft, flowing form binds the many components of the hospital. It is a low building that fosters exchange between staff and patients, and it has a human scale despite its very large size.”
“The decision process here was exemplary of best practice. It was in the hands of a professionally organized and demanding committee with representatives from all departments of the future operation. After an extensive exchange with the three finalists, the committee chose a project and its planning team after having meticulously tested its flexibility and work method.”
Herzog & de Meuron
A beautiful landscape with little immediate context. The hospital plan is the marriage of two contradictory needs: the desire for a large central garden with views of nature, and the necessity for short internal connections.
A single, horizontal building connected to the landscape. Two-storey plinth with all treatment areas, topped by a roof garden and a two-storey ribbon of wards.
The hospital functions like a city. A network of internal public streets and service shortcuts link the most crucial functions.
Patients, visitors, and staff arrive at the center of the hospital. A central hall links to the four primary vertical circulation nodes and stretches out between large, curved courtyards providing continuous connection to nature and daylight. Axial symmetry in treatment areas allows for functional flexibility and clear orientation.
The wards are arranged along the perimeter, forming the large central garden. The curved geometry reduces the size of the hospital and gives the impression of a smaller, more human scale, pavilion-like building.
Irina Davidovici: H: Hospital-as-City. The Healthcare Architecture of Herzog & de Meuron.
In: Adam Jasper (Ed.). gta papers. Social Distance. Vol. No. 5, Zurich, gta, ETH Zurich, 2021. pp. 118-131.
Julia Moellmann: “Ausgewählte Beispiele. Allgemeines Krankenhaus: New North Zealand Hospital.”
In: Julia Moellmann, Wolfgang Sunder, Oliver Zeise (Eds.) et al. “Das Patientenzimmer. Planung und Gestaltung.” Basel, Birkhäuser, 2021. pp. 100-103.
Also published in English: “Selected Case Studies. General Hospitals: New North Zealand Hospital.” In: “The Patient Room. Planning, Design, Layout.” Basel, Birkhäuser, 2021. pp. 158-160.
“Herzog & de Meuron.”
In: Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.). “Arquitectura Viva Proyectos.” Vol. No. 089, Madrid, Arquitectura Viva SL, 2018. pp. 20-23.