HDR TMK-designed Schwarzwald-Baar Hospital Opens Doors in Villigen-Schwenningen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

(July 23, 2013) - On July 21st, the HDR TMK-designed Schwarzwald-Baar Hospital in Villigen-Schwenningen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, opened its doors to patients. The 484,375 SF (45,000 SM) medical center—now the largest hospital in the region—consolidates healthcare services once provided separately in the town districts of Villingen and Schwenningen into an integrated, centrally located medical center.

"The new hospital will provide an unprecedented level of care to more than 200,000 residents in the Villigen-Schwenningen region," said Guido Meßthaler, managing principal of HDR TMK. "Having all departments under one roof will increase collaboration amongst departments, expedite research, and strengthen patient care. And all of this this will be done in a spectacular building designed specifically for healing."

Nestled in the countryside east of the famed Black Forrest, the hospital is structured horizontally to integrate with—rather than loom over—the natural landscape. It consists of a three-story base building housing examination and treatment rooms, and three, three-story patient bed units built atop the base building housing 750 beds. A three-story women's and children's center is adjacent to the main structure, connected by a corridor called the "highway."

Each of the building masses are structured around courtyards that break up the complex, provide interior window views of verdant gardens, and ensure natural light pierces the interior spaces. On the exterior, colored glass and expansive windows create a playful rhythm, emphasizing the lightness of the building and offering sweeping views of the Alps and the neighboring forrest and countryside.

Inspired by a growing body of research suggesting that art in healthcare environments can reduce stress and aid in the healing process, the hospital integrates contemporary art throughout. Highlighted pieces include a steel rod installation perched high atop the hospital's main entrance to signify the linear path of life, an 820-foot-long (250 meter-long) painted mural that symbolizes the interaction between clinicians, patients and visitors, and delicate neon "light nodes" suspending from the ceiling of the foyer.

"Every detail, from the furniture and building materials to the technology and artwork, was selected to create a space where patients can heal and separate themselves from everyday distractions," added Ralf Landsberg, senior partner at HDR TMK and project manager for the hospital. "It's a very patient-centered and advanced building that reflects the exciting evolution of healthcare delivery and design."

In early 2013, TMK Architekten • Ingenieure, one of Germany's leading architecture firms, joined global design firm HDR Architecture. The combined firm—HDR TMK—is now the hub for HDR Architecture's healthcare and science + technology design programs in Europe.