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Waldkliniken Eisenberg, Matteo Thun, HDR Architekten

Healing Architecture: New Stationary Ward at Waldkliniken Eisenberg

The Waldkliniken Eisenberg (WKE), an independent municipal hospital, has expanded its Orthopaedic Centre by a 5-storey stationary ward (plus basement and technical area on the roof). The new building, which was planned by Milan architect and designer Matteo Thun in collaboration with the globally active HDR Architekten, opened just before the second coronavirus-driven lockdown on 31 October 2020.

In the green … and in the black
For Matteo Thun, who has already realized several luxury hotels around the world, this is the first hospital project. He was supported by HDR Architekten, who in contrast know all about hospital buildings. In order to create the best possible spaces and pathways for users, planning was carried out in close cooperation between architects and hospital staff. The hospital itself stands amid the green, while the building costs stayed well within the black at 62.5 million euros.

The patient as guest
The result is a building with a great degree of comfort. Precisely this was one of the concerns of the hospital managing director David-Ruben Thies, who believes that the healing process depends not only on medical expertise, but also on the right environment, where patients can feel like guests. Furthermore, Thies asserts that the new building is “something unique in the history of hospitals in Germany” because the costs per square metre do not surpass those of a “conventional hospital building of the same size.”

A Sustainable Circle
The round building has an exterior façade featuring horizontal wooden slatting and vertical pilaster strips of laminated timber. The larchwood of the exterior façade can be experienced via the large window openings in the rooms and on the verandahs. Part of the concrete construction uses concrete-core activation to regulate the temperature in the rooms. An ice-accumulating system provides a basic temperature for heating and cooling.

Healing Architecture
The building has 128 patients’ rooms − ten of which are private − and 246 beds, as well as several restaurant areas with 184 seats for patients, staff and visitors. The functional areas, retreats and recreation rooms are modern and welcoming; they have been designed with high standards in terms of design and function. Most of the rooms have 2 beds: in each one, the design of the bathroom and solarium, plus the offset arrangement of the beds, ensure possibilities for privacy. With its boarding areas and a unit-by-unit care concept, the new structure deliberately blurs the barriers between patients, employees and guests.

A portrait of Matteo Thun is featured in Detail 6.2021.

Further information:

Planning: 2013 – 2017
Realisation: 6/2016 – 9/2020
Costs: 62,5 Mio. Euro

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