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Brief Published: 2 Jul 2012

Herzog & de Meuron’s Child-Friendly Hospital


Internationally acclaimed Swiss architects firm Herzog & de Meuron has unveiled its winning bid to create a brand new healthcare concept: the kinderspital children’s hospital in Zürich, Switzerland.

Following other highly publicised wellness-related projects such as Dutch based architects OMA’s Maggie centre in Glasgow, Scotland – a space designed to aid the recovery of cancer patients (see report: Design Museum Designs of the Year 2012) –the space aims to show how innovative architectural thinking can drastically improve the patient experience.

The architects have pointedly expressed their overarching desire to create a more flexible, child-friendly environment than a standard hospital. Describing it as a small introspective town, the hospital will incorporate a series of large plant-filled courtyards, offering patients and guests an area to relax and enjoy the scenery. It also promises simpler, easy-to-navigate internal routes connecting the different divisions within the hospital.

The hospital will be comprised of two structures: a rectangular three-storey children’s hospital characterised by public, social gathering spaces, and a circular six-storey research and teaching centre, dominated by the more private high-level medical areas. In another bid to differentiate itself from classic healthcare archetypes, a relatively non-high-tech-looking wooden façade will wrap around the structure.

Construction on the project is scheduled to start in 2018.

Herzog & de Meuron