Two White projects shortlisted for the Healthcare Building Award 2021

Värnamo Hospital and the O-house at Karolinska University Hospital in Huddinge are nominated for The Healthcare Building Award 2021 and compete in the category Major Healthcare Building Projects. The prize is awarded by The Swedish Health Care Facilities Network and rewards good examples in architecture, innovative healthcare environments and good processes.

Healthcare environments are complex as they house advanced technology and patient flows and at the same time, they should be sustainable, innovative, and humane with patients, staff and relatives in focus. A large number of competencies collaborate to provide the best possible care, where the architecture must fulfill all requirements within the project as well as surroundings. In addition, healthcare is constantly undergoing major changes, which requires flexibility for future challenges.

For several decades, White Arkitekter has been developing and expanding the knowledge base in healthcare architecture. By combining research evidence with practical experience, guidelines are being developed to find the best solutions regarding different design choices. The curiosity for White Arkitekter’s expertise is also growing on the international market, with projects in the UK such as The Oriel – Moorfield’s Eye Hospital and Cambridge Children’s Hospital.

We are very happy and proud that both the O-house and Värnamo Hospital have been shortlisted for the Healthcare Building Award 2021. The nominations are a recognition of how collaborations build knowledge that drives development at the forefront. These are two fantastic projects that capture the essence of healthcare architecture.
Charlotte Ruben, Partner and Marketing Director for Healthcare Design

Värnamo Hospital
Värnamo Hospital was previously “Highly Commended” at the international European Healthcare Design Awards 2020 and is now nominated for the Healthcare Building Award 2021.

With the new surgical and intensive care unit, Värnamo Hospital has got new premises integrated into the hospital structure from the 1970s and the surrounding green areas. With good orientability, beautiful green views and plenty of daylight, White Arkitekter has created a healthcare environment that supports both the patients’ recovery as well as the staff’s hard work.

When designing the new surgery and ICU clinic, Värnamo Hospital’s characteristic 70s architecture was a major inspiration. We are proud and happy to have created a welcoming healthcare environment and a pleasant workplace for staff, in close collaboration with the hospital.
Anders Medin, Lead Architect

The operating theatres are located in the facade and the staff room in the courtyard with a patio. For patients in an intensive care unit, it is particularly important to have a calm and peaceful environment that supports recovery, which is also reflected in the design of the rooms. The patient rooms are set apart on the ground floor with generous windows and patios directly adjacent.

The O-house
With the O-house, Karolinska University Hospital in Huddinge welcomes 29,000 sqm of 23 new operating theatres, eight new intervention suites and a new X-ray imaging department. The extension is located in an attractive southward location facing the park and also houses a brand-new sterilisation unit. Additionally, the project encompasses an 8,000 sqm redevelopment of the existing hospital for Pre/Post-Operative Care.

During the dramatic Covid-19 spring of 2020, the O-house’s flexibility was put to the test, even though the premises were not yet in fully use. As the need for intensive care units increased rapidly, the 23 operating theatres were rebuilt into 64 intensive care units in just ten days. Built-in qualities such as daylight and views in a safe and attractive environment helped to ease the stress that both staff and patients experienced. The transformation of the park with opportunities for recreation and exercise has also meant a major addition that counteracts stress and promotes health, not least important in healthcare architecture.

– The O-House has taken advantage of the interior connections of the existing hospital and the new wave-shaped soft concrete façade is an evolution of the site’s architecture. The importance of daylight has been prioritised with large glass panels overlooking the pine trees and the surrounding park. The interiors have been developed with a colour concept that facilitates orientation, says Caroline Varnauskas, Lead Architect.

Attention to detail in interaction with the art, as well as lighting and good acoustics, have been important tools in creating a pleasant atmosphere in the highly specialised care environment that the O-House represents.
Caroline Varnauskas, Lead Architect

The winners in each category will be presented at the Forum The Swedish Health Care Facilities Network’s autumn conference on 18 November in Malmö.

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