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Aalto University 1st year master project 2017


The new design of the hospital strives to unite the whole site with a series of parks. Following a trail all the way from the Central Park, that lies north of the site, the hospital provides calm, secluded park spaces on plateaus between its buildings, a large public park opening up to the busy intersection of Urheilukatu and Nordenskiöldinkatu and finally private courtyards hidden inside the buildings. On top of the before mentioned plateaus the different departments can easily be found, as the different shades of the wooden facades make it simple to navigate on the large site. All the buildings follow a triangular, yet hexagonal form to provide the best possible views and a varied overall look. Thus, the hospital area, while following the landscape down the hillside also creates a city like ensemble of buildings that all serve a purpose of their own, still visually belonging to the entity.


The symbolic, main entrance is placed towards the big intersection in the area. In this way the hospital connects fluently with the city and the various activities taking place in the park (such as possibilities for skateboarding, playing and having picnics) invites the public to approach and enter into the large welcoming hall below the middle plateau. This hall in turn, also connects the somatic and the psychiatric wings. Furthermore, there are four additional entrances, the public entrance from the old hospital area, right beside the ER and ambulance entrance and two in the psychiatric wing, one for the department and one for the forensic wards.


In the design process of the departments, the patient was always in focus. Allowing open connections to between the patient and members of staff, simple accessibility to different functions within the buildings and creating a human scale, “homey”-feel being the focal points of the process. Researching the daily routines of similar psychiatric hospital wards, the social spaces, canteen and living room in particular, were found to be the points to which patients gather several times a day and where they spend most of their time. The courtyard in the centre of every ward not only creates a connection to the surrounding nature and fresh air, but also creates a connection between two wards on top of each other, as the balcony of the top floor and the terrace of the one underneath are connected by a staircase.


The New Laakso Hospital focuses both on the private, and the public, not forgetting the staff. With its three-plateau system the hospital complex maximises connection and community while minimising the distances between people and functions. the natural park and the building mass together form an urban area engulfed by nature that fluently connects the Central park to the city.

co-author    Andrea Rados

supervisors  Sari Lehtonen / Pirjo Sanaksenaho /                          Fernando Nieto Fernandez / Ville Hara


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