in collaboration with Jürg Leicht
The children's clinic 'Wildermeth' in the early 2000s decided to join the hospital complex Biel. This is envisaged to improve its services and simultaneously reduce operating costs through synergies with the existing hospital. This integration was not without problems since the clinic for children, as institution has existed for decades, did not wanted to lose its identity and visibility. From a specific architectural and constructive point of view the problem was further complicated because the land allocated for the new building was small and below it was located an existing car park. The shape of the building is the result of the need for a maximum constructible development in the front perimeter set to have the most number of locals in contact with the outside. The geometry of the structure of the new Annex follows strictly the support of the underground car park behind. The first level on reinforced concrete, the higher level is made of steel in order to minimize the burden on the existing levels.
Spatial inside development has the desire to avoid, given the specificity of the users and the program, the conventional model space of hospitals. The long and dark corridor is abandoned and replaced by spaces circulatory, bathed in natural light, with dynamic forms that present different perspectives and changing. All traffic areas in their end result on singular points being these, the outside landscape or the indoor landscape (court or sculptures). These are not just traffic areas, but also places to meet and exchange; where all parties not included at the program may take place. The colored glass facades added to the interior landscape by creating lights and reflections that change with the seasons and times of the day. All Children’s rooms are located at the ground floor having views and access to the garden. This one, indeed, was designed to be viewed from inside. The main entrance to the clinic is through the central access of the hospital complex and not through the new annex. A series of penguins (sculptures) are animating the landscape; from each room or room for children these animals can be perceived establishing a very special dynamic between the inside and outside.
Client: Stiftung Kinderspital Wildermeth / Competition: 1st. price 2005 / Project: 2005-2006 / Execution: 2006-2008 / Costs: 11 Mio CHF
Photos: Yves André