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The North Zealand Hospital is a new acute care hospital that will be developed by the Capital Region of Denmark outside the town Hillerød in North Zealand, Denmark. The project is part of Denmark’s healthcare consolidation programme, which includes the redevelopment of seven hospitals. The new facility will replace the three existing hospitals in Hilllerød, Elsinore and Frederikssund.

Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, in collaboration with the Danish firm Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects, won the design competition to build the hospital in April 2014. It will be Herzog & de Meuron’s first project in Scandinavia.

A preliminary budget of kr3.9bn ($582m) was approved by the Danish Government for the construction of the new hospital. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2017 and the hospital is expected to open to the public in late 2020.

With a built-up area of 128,000m², the hospital will accommodate approximately 700 beds and serve more than 310,000 people in the region.

New North Zealand Hospital design

The hospital building, situated in the middle of a forest, will be shaped like a cloverleaf and have a height of 17m. It will be spread horizontally across the 300,000m² site and integrated with nature both on the inside and outside.

The low-rise building will contain four levels at its highest point. The bottom two levels will form a pedestal that will house diagnosis and treatment facilities. A two-storey ribbon of patient wards will run along the building perimeter above the pedestal, enclosing a large central rooftop garden.

A total of 24 medical departments will be housed within the pedestal levels, with the most frequented departments near the centre. Circular interior courtyards will be arranged in a repetitive pattern within the pedestal, allowing daylight to reach the lower levels of the hospital. A central hall below the garden will feature four round courtyards.

The hospital appears as a two-storey complex from the roof garden. The patient wards in the upper levels will either overlook the roof garden or provide views of the surrounding landscape. The small, rectangular rooms will offer privacy to patients. The bathrooms will be polygonal in shape and situated between the rooms with a setback, giving the ribbon an undulating shape resembling a spine.

The flexible design of the building allows for future expansion. Its large and uniform floor plates will be able to accommodate shifts in usage and function.

Landscape design

The building will be surrounded by a forest park with clearings for parking lots. The central garden will feature a heathland landscape. Circular hedges will be used to create a network of pathways in the garden and also maintain the privacy of hospital functions within the pedestal from the exterior.

New North Zealand Hospital façade and building materials

The pedestal will be covered by a slender, vertical façade structure that will permit flexibility. The façade of the courtyard will be clad in different materials to help create orientation and variety.

The patient wards on the upper levels will be built using lightweight prefabricated modules made from either metal or wood.

Contractors involved

Herzog & de Meuron is the design consultant for the project, while Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects (VLA) is the executive architect.

Zurich-based Vogt Landschaftarchitekten is the landscape designer for the project. Ramboll UK is providing structural and MEP engineering services for the building complex. It is also the sustainability consultant and project management consultant for the project.

Copenhagen firm MOE was also selected to provide structural, sustainability consulting and MEP engineering services. COWI is the client consultant for the project while Lohfert & Lohfert was contracted to provide operation planning services.