Architect: KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten, Munich
Location: Ulm, Germany
Client: Universitätsklinikum Ulm
Competition: Awarded First Prize
Construction Date: April 2008
Completion Date: June 2012
Project Area: 68,500 m²
Photographer: Jean-Luc Valentin
KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten has recently finished a new surgical center in Ulm, Germany, which marks the largest hospital construction in the state of Baden Würtemberg. Opening this month, the building seeks to blend into the surrounding landscape, while catering to the demands and offering the functionality of a state-of-the-art medical facility.
More about the hospital design after the break.
Upon entering through a spacious foyer pavilion, the hospital is organized about a main two-story spine, the central axis, which leads to all specialist departments and functional units. The corridor combines the base structure with the ward block, and features a glazed wall looking out into the landscape.
The building is organized in two sections with a dominant horizontal “floating” bar supported by a base structure that is embedded in the landscape with green courtyards. The ward block, a 160-meter-long structure rising up above the natural lie of the land, offers a total of 235 beds, while the podium structure houses a dozen operating theaters, the Intensive Care Unit, and outpatient departments. Both sections allow plenty of daylight into the building, with a close connection to the greenery on the ground level.
“The challenge was to group the various functional aspects into a simple yet expressive architectural form and combine them with the environment. The clear separation of medical treatment and ward block is an innovation in this form. Our concept, which we call the ‘Ulm model’, has already served as the template for further architectural designs in hospital construction. Our spacious, light building is designed to eliminate patients’ fear and the typical feeling of unease people often have in a hospital,” explained Jürgen Engel.
KSP has intetgrated colors with the hospital based on four warm tones: yellow, orange, red and brown. Each atrium and courtyard is marked with one of these four colors. Bright and friendly materials create a pleasant atmosphere inside the building for patients, visitors and staff.
On the exterior, the façades along the ward block are structured horizontally following the formal lines created by the story ceilings and given a visual frame. Multicolored glass openings animate the front and rear façades and create a particular lighting mood in each patient room.
The new hospital will allow the six departments of Ulm University Hospital – previously scattered over various sites – to be brought together in one building which will further improve medical care in the Ulm region. Plus, the massive building, which offers gross floor space of around 70,000 sq.m., was completed in four years within the scheduled timeframe and budget.