The Institution of the Children’s Hospital in Zurich
The University Children’s Hospital has been operated by the Eleonoren Foundation since 1874. The mandate of the Children’s Hospital is to supply highly specialized care of children in conjunction with research, teaching, and the fostering of a new generation of academics in the field of child healthcare. The 200-bed hospital is the largest in Switzerland for both inpatient and outpatient care of children and adolescents. The new project in Zürich-Lengg will replace the facility in the Hottinger quarter, which has long outgrown its current capacity.
The Healthcare Campus in Lengg
The site in Zurich-Lengg lies on the outskirts of the city in a leafy residential district, which is also an important recreational neighborhood for residents of Zurich. Geologically, Burghölzli, as the hill is called, is a protected glacial landscape. Two plots of land on a proverbially green meadow have been earmarked for the new project, which is to be integrated in a campus of institutions devoted to various aspects of healthcare.
The New Children’s Hospital
The project for the Children’s Hospital in Zürich consists of two buildings: the hospital and a research center. The hospital, on the site to the south, is a distinctly horizontal, three-story structure opposite the “Burghölzli”. The main entrance, a large gate, is exactly opposite the portal of the historical building. The concave gesture of the main façade creates a spacious forecourt for both institutions. The Children’s Hospital follows an urban grid with streets, intersections, and squares.
The functions or departments correspond to neighborhoods. Every floor has a main street. Several green inner courtyards varying in size provide daylight and structure the right-angled layout of the rooms. Nature penetrates deep into the building. Some of the courtyards, round in shape, are arranged along the main street where there is access to the most important areas of the hospital. The ground floor with its large round entry is the most public zone within the hospital. It accommodates the main facilities for examination and treatment with the highest visitor and patient frequency as well as emergency room, intensive care, and operating rooms.
Restaurant and access to therapy services on the first lower level are located right next to the entrance; the latter are connected directly to the garden for patients. On the second floor, both sides of the main street are flanked by further divisions of the polyclinic, which are in turn surrounded by an office landscape oriented towards the outside, with some 600 workplaces for medical and administrative personnel. The top floor is the most private area of the hospital. Four wards form quadrants in which a total of 114 rooms are arranged in a ring structure oriented towards the outside.
Each of the rooms is designed like a little house with its own roof, ensuring privacy for the young patients and their relatives in combination with an expansive view. Inside, four therapeutic divisions—cardiology, oncology, nephrology, and the center for brain injuries—are located along the main street, where children and adolescents can receive transdisciplinary treatment and care in the immediate vicinity of their own rooms. The divisions correspond to the special areas addressed in the research center nearby.
Building for Laboratory, Teaching, and Research
The building is located on the parcel to the north. It is a cylindrical, white structure in which rooms for university hospital uses are organized around a center as a leitmotif for collaboration. A sky-oriented, five-story high atrium provides a central space for researchers. An agora for teaching spreads out underneath, relating directly to the surrounding landscape. Three lecture halls are pressed like steps into the hollow of the existing topography. Daylight comes in from outside. Planned completion 2022. Source and images, Courtesy of Herzog & de Meuron.