Queen Silvia Children’s Hospital

Characterised by the typical homogenous suburban healthcare architecture from the 70s, the greater Östra Hospital campus is a mixture of high-rise and low-rise buildings. Queen Silvia Children's Hospital is a first step in the transformation into a more urban-like hospital campus with improved work flows that respond to the collaborative needs of modern healthcare.

Space for loved ones

The 35,000 sqm state-of-the-art extension of the existing children’s hospital houses a new operation unit, an intensive care expansion and single-patient rooms to reduce the spread of infections. Each room also has space for a parent or loved one to stay the night.

The architects spent a lot of time with the children and their families to unfold their ideas through dialogue, drawing and play.

Client: Västfastigheter
Location: Göteborg
Status: Completion due 2019
Area: 35,000 sqm GFA
Budget: 1,35bn SEK
Visuals: White View

Home away from home

Although the average time of treatment at the hospital is shorter than a few days, some children will spend up to half a year or longer. The challenge was how to meet the high demands on equipment, hygiene and efficiency in a way which does not “look and feel” like a hospital. The architects spent a lot of time with the children and their families to unfold their ideas through dialogue, drawings and play. The results revealed a care environment resembling home – calming materials, soft lighting, access to outdoor play and for teenagers, places to hang with friends as well as space for privacy.

Recovery through play

Healing through play is an important part of the rehabilitation process. Strategically placing a huge play therapy room and climbing sculptures next to the entry signals a safe place for play. Colourful signage, sculpture and playful artwork function as wayfinding and lessens the feeling of intimidation upon entering the hospital building and remains the final impression when leaving.

Designing to maximise daylight is important in Scandinavia. At Queen Silvia Hospital, daylight is captured through the expansive exterior views and patient rooms with low window sill heights. For children who are not well enough to venture outdoors, a temperature-controlled winter garden provides direct access to daylight and lends a feeling of being in the fresh outdoors. Adding warmth and tranquility to the winter-garden are wood panels, which are a common design feature throughout the interior.

A sick child also has a desire to play, prefers to eat home-cooked food and most of all – wants to be close to loved ones. Our intention has been to bring the hospital as close to every day life as possible.
Krister Nilsson, Lead Architect

A feeling of normality and a daily life is what guides the design of one of the world’s most prominent child and youth hospitals, mixing familiarly environments such as a school, a playground and a home.

Operations in the new building
Surgery, 7 theatres
Intensive care, 16 beds
Care departments, 96 patients
Medical therapy with library and school
Occupational therapy and physical therapy with bath
Helicopter Pad

Krister Nilsson

Krister Nilsson



+46 31 60 86 97

Pär Andréasson
Cristiana Caira
Mathias Nilsson
Stefan Lundin
Cecilia Bengtsson
Magnus Bunner
Raluca-Maria Constantinescu
Gusten Göthe
Charlotta Hellström
Timon Holgers
Nete Hultberg
Maria Höier
Roger Johansson
Peter Johnstone
Dan Larsson
Samuel Michaëlsson
Ulrika Nilsson
Kjell Nord
Fabian Sahlqvist
Rikard Sjöberg
Maria Sondén
Rikard Stenlund
Filip Strebeyko
Susanna von Eyben
Elisabeth Sandberg
Johanna Augustsson
Elisabeth Rosenlund
Victoria Brodefors
Ingmar Rahm
Bo Kleberger