The Bridge Hospital uniquely combines modern and traditional hospital architecture at the heart of Helsinki
The Bridge Hospital in Helsinki, Finland, is a world-class trauma and cancer hospital that was completed in 2022. Connecting the two specialised functions, Cancer and Trauma Hospital, via a bridge, has been not only a functional but also a structural challenge and a rare architectural opportunity.
The architecture of the hospital is fully integrated into its surroundings, and the building assumes its place in the cityscape, while still respecting the status and style of the old hospital area. The architecture of the bridge hospital is based on a series of spaces formed by several high lobbies that allow the intuitive orientation of the patients and staff and lots of natural light into the building.
User-experience and city skyline highlighted in the architectural design
The wedge-like and meandering shape of the plot, as well as the existing buildings, which must be closely linked to the new hospital with their functions, have brought their unique aspects to the architectural design. Likewise, the requirement for the existing hospital to continue operating during the construction project. The planning has been carried out in close co-operation with the authorities responsible for urban planning and building protection.
The “Helsinki Built Environment” theme has been used to solve the building’s key architectural challenges. The huge mass of facades reflects the Helsinki sky and the sea surface of the adjacent Seurasaari Bay on the glass surfaces of the aluminum facade. Art has also been widely utilised inside the building to bring comfort to customers as well as to facilitate orientation inside the huge building.
Patients and staff come first in designing solutions
The Bridge hospital is a very complex and technically demanding hospital building in terms of functions – including the Raptor operating room and the MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) room connected to the neurosurgical operating room. However, at the heart of the building’s basic functional solution are the patients and their expert care.
The functional solution is based on “domain and pathway” thinking, where the internal hierarchy of each function is uncompromisingly optimised and the relationship of each function, to the spaces supporting and serving it, is planned prioritising short distances, and eliminating unnecessary patient transfers.
Special attention has also been paid to the wellbeing of the staff. A caregiver with good and comfortable workspaces and equipment provides the best care and service to the patient. Technical and functional solutions have been designed in cooperation with the healthcare professionals. Every solution has been tested in a specially built simulation facility before actual construction.
The hospital’s MEP (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing) design is also based on functionality and adaptability. For patients, the hospital environment will be safe and comfortable. For the hospital staff, the integrated digital systems will ease the daily work.
Energy-efficient and uninterrupted flow of power and data
Energy efficiency is a key part of the project. All waste energy generated in the building is recovered and recycled inside the building. This reduces both operating costs and CO2 emissions.
The technical systems are significantly more automated than in hospitals in general. Backup power systems ensure that the most critical systems receive power without interruption. Data transfer requirements are also very high – the amount of data transferred through the hospital network is huge both inside the hospital and to the outside world.
Cancer and Trauma Hospitals – the Bridge Hospital – in Helsinki University Hospital
- Located in Helsinki, the capital of Finland
- 71,500 m2 gross area
- 5-9 floors, 215 beds and 4 wards
- 58 intensive care units, 69 day hospital beds and 16 operating rooms
- Outpatient clinics
- Lecture and teaching facilities
IHDA partners working together on the Bridge hospital:
AW2 Architects – Main and architectural design together with Team Integrated Silta consortium (AW2 Architects Oy, Brunet Saunier Architecture, Harris-Kjisik Architects, B&M Architects), Interior design
Granlund – MEP (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing) design, telecommunications and building automation design, as well as for fire protection design and fixed hospital equipment together with Ramboll.
AINS Group – Project and construction management, Structural engineering, Building information modeling, Moisture control, Construction product compliance
Nordic Healthcare Group – Validation and development of plans in emergency unit and operation units
Principal designer, AW2 Architects
+358 40 861 3740