The Bird’s Nest Olympic stadium in Beijing and Tate Modern art gallery in London are two international landmarks triumphantly plotted on opposing ends of the globe, both devised by cherished Switzerland-based architectural globetrotters, Herzog & de Meuron. For how far from home this fellowship of design dignitaries have planted monuments, the cozily proximate Scandinavia had yet to catch the warmth of their special touch until a recent joint project assisted by Danish heartlanders, Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects. The collaboration of interest is Nyt Hospital Nordsjælland, an acute care hospital nestled just south of Hillerød to serve as a structural ambassador to the wooded forest area that will encompass it.
Bearing the good blessings of a lucky cloverleaf shape, the new hospital will shed the bind of tradition and instead vouch for a progressive operational position that integrates organically into the natural landscape upon which it rests. Resisting the prevailing medical architectural convention of vertical, skyscraping edifices, Nyt Hospital Nordsjælland will cap at a dramatically diminutive four floors—knee-level in comparison to the industry’s massive masses. At 660 beds and 24 medical departments, though, the methodically horizontal hospital is still mammoth and well beyond just sufficiently functional. Hospital operations will be performed in closer harmony with one another, accessing departments with incredible ease as the mildly spherical form of the monument will enjoy a universally accessible garden at its structural core to pass through as needed or, simply, to enjoy the integration of the healing soil of the Euro-countryside.
The team of Herzog & de Meuron and Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects came onto the project via a rigorous selection process that included six other esteemed candidates. It’s a decision that pleases all parities involved from the desks of the Copenhagen regional council to the laboring physician at the edge of the hospital bed, some of whom have been meanwhile involved working as advisors in the design process. The pioneering Nyt Hospital Nordsjælland will open in 2020.