Three more healthy hospitals
The Danube Clinic
This new extension for a public hospital in the small town of Tulln boasts a cool, calm design. Realised by Viennese architects Loudon & Habeler and Paul Katzberger, it’s just won the prestigious national Landespreis award for best building in the state of Lower Austria.
Completed last year, the exterior is clad in crisp white glass. Seven indoor courtyards punctuate the long 200m block. Rows of floor-to-ceiling windows mean wards and corridors are airy and bright. The interior feels warm, trimmed in stone, oak and slate. A new intensive care unit is being built and will be completed next year.
“We wanted to get away from the institutional character of hospitals,” says Michael Loudon, partner at Loudon & Habeler. With its simple, clean, fuss-free design, it sets new standards.
Transport isn’t a problem for patients and visitors to the Tokyu Hospital in Okayama, Japan: it’s built right on top of the station. Designed by Koichi Yasuda, a professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, it opened in 2007 and has been widely praised for its marriage of good design and functionality.
“We thought of it as a hospital for the future, a more personal hospital,” says Yasuda. “Many patients come for kidney dialysis. They can come by train, keep their own lockers here and go to work or school after treatment.”
The hospital is covered in greenery, which shades the building and provides a soothing environment. “I saw a report by psychologists saying that after an operation, patients feel less pain when they see greenery. Sunlight regulations meant that we had to stagger the north side of the building, so we made the terraces into gardens attached to each room.”
The Ravelo Clinic
Ravelo, Tenerife, Spain
Giving a masterclass in healthcare design is this small clinic in the town of Ravelo in northern Tenerife. Designed by local practice gpy Arquitectos, it’s a striking building that makes the most of its dramatic location with a simple, pared-down design.
The clinic’s surroundings are part of the patient experience, thanks to an open, inviting layout. The two-storey block, made from concrete, features expansive floor-to-ceiling windows – patients are able to relax with panoramic views out to the Atlantic and Teide volcano. Clever custom-crafted shutters protect the interior from the blazing sun.
“We’d like to think that this direct relation with the landscape has therapeutic possibilities,” says architect and partner of the firm, Juan Antonio González Pérez. Inside, most of the walls are wooden, creating a warm atmosphere.