The City of Espoo
First prize in the open international architecture competition 2008
The Chicago Athenaeum’s International Architecture Award 2010
The new Espoo Hospital is formed of units of a human scale, woven together to create a landscape that resembles a small city with squares, curvy streets, parks and city blocks. Public, semi-public and private spaces are clearly defined within the building. The concept of a “bedless” hospital combines the fields of architecture and process design, and fosters the vitality that every person possesses regardless of illnesses or age.
The beneficial effects of forest and nature on the human mind and body have been known for a long time. International research shows that proximity to nature helps to alleviate stress and counteract depression. New studies have also proven that people heal faster and better when they are in a home-like environment. The Espoo Hospital, with a design called Orkidea (Orchid), supports the findings of both of these lines of research. It provides spatial solutions of a human scale that propose kindness, empathy and humanity. The green spaces are interlaced with the building masses as well as with the inner courtyards. Direct contact with nature is cherished as a vital part of the healing process.