Text description provided by the architects. The design of the hospital has a strong emphasis on ‘openness and transparency’ towards the public whilst at the same time forming a protective shelter for the patients. The addition of public spaces, nature and new visual qualities to a challenging city environment has been central in the process.
The 12 500 square meter building includes in-patient departments on the upper floors, day care and policlinics on lower floors and underground parking. Services within the building include mobile teams, adult policlinics, day care clinics and several wards for short stays. The hospital is located in a highly trafficked area of Bergen, Norway, and opened in august 2013.
A large emphasis has been put into the creation of a new public square north of the building. The square offers a valuable place for citizens to sit, play and contemplate in an area normally dominated by cars and traffic. The public square stretches under the building’s lower floors displaying green facades with large window sections. Sight lines through the building are emphasized, and the transparency prompts the idea of greater openness about mental health issues in today’s society. In addition to inviting patients and staff inside, the entire city is welcomed to have a look.
The green façade is enclosed by white façade panels. The white part expresses stability and security, and is reminiscent of the house and the home. In these overlying floors the need for shielding and protection is maintained. Here the in-patient departments are located, with several gardens for recreation and outdoor activities. The scale is reduced from the larger cityscape, to the smaller domestic and protective spaces.
The hospital opens up towards the east to the view of mountain Ulriken. It is organized around three large atriums, adding light, air and valuable outdoor recreational spaces. The atriums provide visual contact between the different departments, aid the navigation by being geographical points of reference, and adds glimpse of nature within the building. Each of the hospital’s departments are related to specific roof gardens. Each garden has their own characteristics and they are varied by location and function. The green zones encourage social interaction and offer space for contemplation in an environment of natural materials and plants.
The plans focus on readability and structural clarity with clear and logical communication lines. The clarity of the plans increases the comprehension of the building for the patients and staff in order to create a calmer environment. The main entrance is directly connected to the light rail stop outside, and gives direct access to the various out-patient and in-patient departments. Special attention supporting the security of staff and patients has been given to window solutions and the design of stairs. The units are designed to give staff an overview, while at the same time ensuring smaller spaces decreasing the patients feeling of being watched. The different solutions are meant to provide a good working environment for staff, facilitate neutral meeting areas and support the patient’s sense of reality and private space.