A Hospital in the Forest and of the Forest
HDR, in collaboration with architecture firm Matteo Thun & Partners, planned and implemented the new construction of the Waldkliniken “Forest Clinic” in Eisenberg. The aim of the project was to create a clinic campus with a consistent design and experience for patients, employees, and visitors in terms of design, concept, and functionality.
Because of the strong emphasis on having a hotel-like character, the standard of the patient rooms differs significantly from the usual standard in Germany. There are predominantly two-bed rooms with Z-shaped geometry that provides each patient a personal space. The arrangement of bathrooms, furniture, and veranda offer the possibility of both interaction and privacy as needed. In addition, patients can eat together and talk to each other in the light-flooded piazza.
Sustainability Concept in a Healthcare Environment
Waldkliniken breaks new ground in terms of sustainability in hospital construction. The patient not only experiences the difference in space from the usual standard in Germany, but also the selection of materials. The forest is literally brought inside the building with an abundance of wood-based materials that were selected for surfaces and floors.
Wood also plays a key role in construction design. The new hospital was built using a hybrid wood-concrete construction. Reinforced concrete skeleton construction, necessary for fire protection and because of the large spans in hospital construction, is reduced to a minimum. Infills, such as the exterior walls in the upper floors, are designed as wood frame construction and are clad with wood. As a result, there are ecological benefits such as the use of renewable raw materials and improvement of the CO2 balance, as well as economic benefits such as life cycle costs and shorter construction times through prefabrication. A portion of the concrete construction is used sustainably via a concrete core activation for temperature control of the bedrooms. An ice storage tank creates the source for the seasonal basic temperature necessary for heating and cooling.