Akershus University Hosptial / C.F.Møller Architects

© Torben Eskerod
© Torben Eskerod

Architects: C.F.Møller Architects
Location: Oslo,
Collaborators: Multiconsult AS, SWECO AS, Hjellnes COWI AS / Interconsult ASA, Ingemannson Technology, Nosyko/Erstad og Lekven
Client: Helse Sør-Øst RHF
Landscape: Bjørbekk & Lindheim AS, Schønherr Landskab A/S
Artists Involved: Troels Wörsel, Gunilla Klingberg, Mari Slaattelid, Knut Henrik Henriksen, Jan Christensen, Tony Cragg, Birgir Andrésson, Petteri Nisunen, Tommi Grönlund, Julie Nord, Per Sundberg, Vesa Honkonen, Janna Thöle-Juul, Kristine Halmrast, Mikkel Rasmussen Hofplass
Project year: 2000-2008
Constructed Area: 137,000 sqm
Photographs: Torben Eskerod &

© Torben Eskerod © Torben Eskerod © Torben Eskerod © Torben Eskerod

The new university hospital is not a traditional institutional construction; it is a friendly, informal place with open, well-structured surroundings which present a welcoming aspect to patients and their families.

Akershus University Hospital has been designed to emphasize security and clarity in experientially rich surroundings, where everyday functions and well-known materials are integrated into the hospital’s structure.

© Torben Eskerod
© Torben Eskerod

Wholeness and variation

Although the individual parts of the development each have their own material expression and the material expression of the development varies, nonetheless it is united into a whole by means of a general architectural theme centred on panels and transparency. In this way, a unity is created between the individual parts of the complex, which thereby receive a subtle effect of transparency and depth.

© Torben Eskerod
© Torben Eskerod

Treatment department

Facades in glass, plaster and aluminium panelling, with white-lacquered sinusoidal aluminium panels in the courtyards


Facades in dark screen tiling
Children’s department
Facades with wood cladding

© Torben Eskerod
© Torben Eskerod


Facades clad in oak panels and tombac (an alloy of zinc and brass)

Front building and main arrivals area

Facades in glass, plaster and glass tiling

Structured like a town

A glass-roofed main thoroughfare, in which wood is the dominating material, links the various buildings and departments. The ’glass street’ begins in the welcoming foyer of the arrivals area, where the main reception desk receives visitors, and concludes in the foyer and separate arrivals area of the children’s department.

In the glass street, the central element in the development, the various materials are united in an overall composition, in which the large coloured panels designed by the Icelandic artist Birgir Andrésson form a natural element and provide a ’palette’ for the colour scheme of the hospital.

site plan
site plan

The glass street has a town-like structure, with public and semi-public zones defined as squares and open spaces, offering the everyday functions of a town: church, pharmacy, hairdresser, florist, café and kiosk, as well as traffic nodes and other services for the benefit of patients, relatives and staff.

In natural continuation of these functions, a number of other services, such as health information, polyclinics and out-patient surgeries, are located near the street level of the thoroughfare.

© Torben Eskerod
© Torben Eskerod

Centred on the patient

The hospital’s structure helps to ensure that the patient remains the natural focus in the physical design, despite the strict and demanding logistical requirements which underlie all hospital constructions. Just as the overall complex is made up of clear and comprehensible units, so the individual wards are built up from smaller elements.

The wards are centred around four so-called courtyards which ensure a well-defined daily life for the patients, with a manageable level of social contact, assisted by a clear staff interface.
The wards of the children’s department are equipped with windows which give the children and young people individual views of both the sky and the surrounding greenery from their beds. The well-equipped facilities for parents secure excellent contact between the children and their families.

Cite: "Akershus University Hosptial / C.F.Møller Architects" 01 Oct 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=36473>
  • http://www.vitsee.wordpress.com Vitsee

    the dark facades (whilst attractive to me) could be considered a bit sombre for a hospital… people arent going to be in the best of moods at a hospital, without gazing out their windows at a dark grey building!
    the oak pannelling is lovely though

  • João

    I don´t think that´s very important, in contrast with the surrounding gardens.

  • thomas

    Oh – is there a universal rule – dark colours = sombre. Sounds like narrow minded rubbish to me.

    • http://www.vitsee.wordpress.com Vitsee

      really? i think it’s more narrow minded to dismiss someones personal opinion as “rubbish”.

      • Andrew

        What part of the world are you from? Colors are a question of culture.

        And here in Norway these colors are both attractive, modern and appropriate. Have you considered this fact? Speaking as a native; we like a somber palette here.

        How about the fact that snow and ice will cover these grounds soon? The light will reflect off the snow and on the walls and back again. Over a short amount of time the colors will fade under the weather too.

        It may be narrow minded to dismiss other people’s thoughts, but it’s no better to conclude that colors/rules are universal!

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  • Stephen

    I find the grey soothing and calming, not to mention a good complement to the wood. Then again, I’ve always loved that shade of grey.

    I like the fact that the large building is completed with a restrained palette of formal moves – a kind of quiet confidence in crisp details.

  • http://vitsee.wordpress.com vitsee

    i actually said i liked the colour, and i never said that it was universal that grey is sombre, just that SOME people may consider it to be!

    • Andrew

      Actually, you clearly didn’t say SOME people. You said “could be considered a bit sombre for a hospital…”. While you did say you liked them, the rest of your comment clearly says it is sombre; “people arent going to be in the best of moods at a hospital, without gazing out their windows at a dark grey building”. Where does it say SOME?

      • http://www.vitsee.wordpress.com Vitsee

        i think the clue is in the word “could”, clearly inferring that it “could” be perceived as sombre… it doesnt say that i perceive it as sombre, just that it “could” be.

        i think the fact that i said i found them attractive but then stated how it could be perceived differently suggests that i am talking about others.

  • Capsulate_Ion

    leave it vitsee. this guy is only looking for a fight. that too over a thing like who likes what. the idiot !!

  • Mr. Cheap

    We went on a hospital tour of the eastern part of Norway earlier this year, and the infrastructural capacity they have there is just insane. The region has about 1,5 million people, and probably the highest number of square meters of hospital pr. person. The scale was the thing that was most amazing.

    Then again, norwegians are apparently the least fit and most sick people in all of europe. We were told norwegians are on sickleave constantly.

    We also did a tour of Denmark, and the scale of the institutions there seemed much more appropriate compared to Norway (although they are more people, in a smaller area).

    • Andrew

      I seriously doubt you can backup that claim.

      Norwegians are probably far more fit and healthy than most Europeans. Higher education leads to better health in general, and Scandinavians are more educated than most (free education and social pressure). It doesn’t hurt that we’re the second wealthiest nation in Europe.

      As for the claim that we’re constantly on sickleave, that’s probably an outright lie. However we do have a solid *welfare* state that does offer and guarantee people the right to take care of themselves, their sick children and even their parents. It’s not a sin to be sick or take a day off here. The figures are misleading.

      The OECD ranks Norwegian workers the most efficient of all the OECD countries (the US, Western Europe, Japan etc). It helps that people don’t force themselves to work, they get well instead of spreading diseases at work…

      As for Denmark, Danes in general suffer more from lifestyle and other health issues related to their higher alcohol consumption and fat foods. They’re probably the least healthy of all the Scandinavian nations.

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