University Heart Center Hamburg
The University Heart Center Hamburg (UHZ) is part of a development master plan to make the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) one of the most modern and advanced hospitals in Europe. The new building is intended to house a complex programme, consisting of emergency treatment, operating theatres and outpatient clinics, as well as intensive care units.
The new building consists of two interlocking, ring-shaped sub-complexes that enclose two inner courtyards. The “intersection” between them forms the backbone of the building. This element of the building is organised by means of a tripartite layout, serving on the one hand as a communications centre for staff and patients, and on the other as a central vertical conduit for goods and persons. Trans-storey staffroom areas reinforce the open spatial impact and allow multiple visual contacts between the individual levels. The personnel hub creates a mutual zone for the entire staff of the new building, fostering a cohesive atmosphere of communication and learning between the various strata of the clinic. A locus, in short, that enables a high degree of social interaction.
Emergency patients are admitted in the northern sector, while visitors are spaciously received in the southern entrance area. The first thing that greets the visitor is the abundance of light and transparency that characterises the building and the new surroundings. This initial impression imparts a positive feeling, helping to alleviate some of the anxieties that are usually associated with a hospital visit.
The exterior skin of the building is composed of a subtly arranged brick facade, staggered over a receding depth, that consistently maintains the factual architectural idiom of the surrounding complexes. A juxtaposition appears in the form of the metal-and-glass facades encompassing the inner courtyards and running the entire height of the storeys as a mullion-transom construction. The interior is conceived as a contrast to the monolithic brick structure, offering warmth and a comfortable atmosphere, with wood cladding, double-height rooms and ample daylight supplied via the large terraced and greened inner courtyards. All of the patient rooms are orientated towards the outside and the flexible arrangement of the wards enables efficient processes, guaranteeing a proximity between staff and patients at all times.