Queen Silvia Children’s Hospital

Queen Silvia Children’s Hospital

Care for the patient, family and relatives was the guiding principle in the design of the Queen Silvia Children’s Hospital at the Östra Hospital in Gothenburg. A building that meets the need for a safe environment, without compromising on high technology and working methods of today and tomorrow.

Space for loved ones

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.

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.

Client: Västfastigheter
Location: Göteborg
Status: Completed 2021
Area: 33,000 m2 BTA new building, 1000 m2 reconstruction
Budget: 1,9 bn SEK
Awards: European Healthcare Design Awards – Interior Design and Arts
Photography: James Silverman, Paul Björkman

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

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 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.

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

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

Contact & Team

Krister Nilsson

Krister Nilsson


+46 766 39 47 52

Cristiana Caira

Mathias Nilsson

Stefan Lundin

Cecilia Bengtsson

Magnus Bunner

Raluca-Maria Constantinescu

Gusten Göthe

Charlotta Hellström

Nete Hultberg

Maria Höier

Roger Johansson

Peter Johnstone

Dan Larsson

Ulrika Nilsson

Kjell Nord

Fabian Sahlqvist

Rikard Sjöberg

Rikard Stenlund

Sizar Failli

Filip Strebeyko

Susanna von Eyben

Elisabeth Sandberg

Johanna Augustsson

Elisabeth Rosenlund

Elisabeth Sandberg

Ingmar Rahm

Bo Kleberger

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