For a healthcare architecture studio in fifth year, I chose Sweden to study. It seemed like a fun country to choose to design architecture for, yet I had no idea that it would end up being a bigger challenge than if I had chosen a third world country with plenty of healthcare issues. In the end, I chose to work on a larger scale for the second project than any one healthcare issue or building.
Previously the city had proposed a masterplan to connect North Stockholm to the medical research campus, Karolinska. My critique of the masterplan was that it was too much of a change from the existing urban form that was centered around courtyard style blocks. I redesigned their scheme to better integrate their existing city form into the new space.
Coming back to healthcare, the Karolinska campus is a world-class medical research facility and seemed a perfect place for the remaining two projects of healthcare studio (a clinic and hospital). The clinic was intended to replace and be symbolic as a top notch research facility that gestures to the heart of Stockholm and also back to the largest portion of the Karolinska campus. My development pretty much ended there as this project was only three weeks long, but the building is a sexy (if I dare say) take on a healthcare building that invites the public to and through the ground floor that offers a south facing plinth and restaurant below.
Following the same idea of the new masterplan, the hospital was to take on a courtyard style building form. This was intended to create a better work and healing place by giving the users of the facility a wonderful space to always connect to. The massing of the hospital is two wings, with a courtyard in the center that opens up to the previous project (clinic) and campus beyond. It also allows for maximum sun exposure by keeping the South wing shorter (five stories) than the North (ten stories).
In previous projects I had neglected the actual demands of the program and studio intent: healthcare. My focus was on integrating this 400 bed hospital into the previous masterplan, creating an inspiring place to work while connecting the urban space, and bringing the public into and through the site. A critical point I made throughout both the clinic and hospital was that healthcare facilities were all too many times a poor teammate of urban space and tend to give nothing back to the city they are within. To this end, both the clinic and hospital are open throughout the ground floor and the program is open to public tenants such as restaurants, fitness centers, and small retail.
As I said before, I did design healthcare this time, and considering the size and undertaking of this project (given a 30-bed hospital program which equated to 180,000 ft², my fourth floor is 127,000 ft²) I developed the fourth and fifth floors to a high-level of completion.