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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Akershus University Hospital, Oslo, Norway

Technology and patient experience are key in €1billion design
After 9 years in the making, the Akershus University Hospital near Oslo, Norway has opened. Designed and constructed by C. F. Møller Architects, it has a total area of 137,000 sq m and cost €1 billion to construct. During construction, from 1 March 2004, to 1 October 2008, some 1,400 people from 37 different nations contributed over 6.2 million man-hours erecting the new ‘super hospital’. The large-scale building will serve the 340,000 inhabitants from surrounding municipalities and boasts space for 50,000 in-patients with 4,600 staff members, including 426 doctors.

The vision was to create something economical, innovative and a place people can relax and be at ease. Klavs Hyttel, partner in C. F. Møller Architects and lead architect of the project commented, “The concept of security should encompass both efficiency, technology and the familiar patterns of the daily routine. It is through this balancing act that we have created the architectural attitude of the building."

The building differs in form throughout, yet notions of light and the outside environment are a common factor linking the assorted areas. Achieved through a glass covered main entrance, brightness is promoted throughout the main artery of the building. Coupled with the overriding use of wood as a key component in the structure. Adding colour and inspiring recovery, a €2.3 million art programme is in place mixing work from fresh and established Scandinavian artists.

Contrasting with the organic materials in use are the advanced technological incorporations: Doctors can order medicine via PC which is then automatically dispatched to the patient; robotic un-manned trucks deliver bed linen and each patient bed comes with a TV, telephone and internet access. These futuristic practises give patients a more relaxed stay and increase the contact time they receive whilst enhancing the efficiency of such an institution.

David Shiavone
architecture NOW

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