Verstas Architects Win Competition to Expand Lapland Central Hospital in Finland

Verstas Architects Win Competition to Expand Lapland Central Hospital in Finland

Finnish firm Verstas Architects has been awarded first place in a competition for the expansion of Finland's Lapland central hospital for their design of a functional complex of "healing architecture." Responding to the challenge of Finland's aging population and changes in municipal funding, the winning proposal reflects the "hospital of tomorrow," creating a flexible and functional space in conversation with its urban surrounds.

Hospital Elevations
Hospital Elevations

Adapting the 1970s and 80s approach to hospitals that focused on modularity and centralized operations, Lapland Central Hospital takes a flexible approach to patient wards. Comfort and light are given prime consideration, with glass and timber wards gently easing into their natural context. An inner boulevard connects each of the successive treatment spaces, and functions as a central public space.

Courtesy of Verstas Architects
Courtesy of Verstas Architects

"The aim has been to create a complex that encourages to get better [sic.]," said architect Riina Palva. "The baseline of the design process is in patient comfort, but also on the usability and transformability of spaces." This approach is reflected in the building's well-lit interior, in which spaces are clustered and arranged according to function. Wards and treatment spaces are interconnected with comfortable waiting lounges that offer views of the surrounding nature, with "the best vies and light... reserved for the areas where people spend the most time." Externally, a modular facade complements the reconfigurable interior.

Courtesy of Verstas Architects
Courtesy of Verstas Architects

The 39,000-square-meter extension will also include a series of rooms for child patients, with each featuring a terrace overlooking a "peaceful yard area." Surrounding landscaping will "[bring] a sense of nature and stimulation to patients," in conjunction with timber used throughout the internal and external structure and cladding. Other facilities will include public service points in each of the extension's new lobbies, a new emergency unit, a psychiatric unit, and outpatient clinics.

Area Plan
Area Plan

"A hospital should be a part of the city, not an inaccessible fortress," said architect Väinö Nikkilä, "We have aimed to create a flexible overall vision for developing the whole Central Hospital Campus."

Lapland Central Hospital will remain fully functional through the construction process, the first phase of which is due for completion in 2020.

  • Architects

    Verstas Architects Ltd
  • Location

    96100 Rovaniemi, Finland
  • Project Architects

    Väinö Nikkilä, Jussi Palva, Riina Palva and Ilkka Salminen
  • Area

    39000.0 sqm
  • Project Year

  • Photographs

    Courtesy of Verstas Architects

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Project location

Address:96100 Rovaniemi, Finland

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Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.

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Cite: Patricia Arcilla. "Verstas Architects Win Competition to Expand Lapland Central Hospital in Finland" 06 May 2015. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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