BIG + WHR+ Arup Named to Shortlist for the Design Competition for Nyt Hospital Nordsjælland in Denm

08/29/2013 | WHR Architects

The Team of BIG + WHR + Arup was selected for the shortlist of three firms for the second phase of the design completion for the Nyt Hospital Nordsjælland, a 124,000 square meter (1.31 million square foot) acute care hospital in Hillerød, north of Copenhagen. The team’s proposal, which will serve over 300,000 people, preserves the site’s existing natural features while creating a highly efficient, healing hospital.

The new hospital, which is the result of merging three existing facilities, will be built on a former hunting ground, characterized by rolling hills, many small ponds and one of the largest forests in Denmark.  The design concept consists of eight playfully composed, interlocking rings, which encourage maximum interface between the wards and create spacious courtyards that imbue the hospital with a sense of community.  The flat green roof responds to the natural topography and the rings vary in height to provide access to the greens. As a result, each patient room has a relationship either to an internal landscaped courtyard or to the surrounding woodlands.

“The hospital’s goal is to have ‘a visionary architectural solution for a hospital that is first and foremost a patients’ hospital,’” said Anthony Haas, FAIA, WHR’s principal-in charge.  “WHR’s experience in creating patient-centered, healing environments combined with the architectural creativity of BIG and the innovation and technical expertise of Arup allowed us to envision an innovative facility that will set new standards of excellence in international healthcare. And most importantly to achieve the hospital’s vision of ‘healing architecture.’”

“Studies show that daylight and views to green areas and plants have a healing effect on patients. One of our guiding principles has been to further build on the area’s historic landscape features and to create a smooth transition between inside and outside,” said Bjarke Ingles of BIG. “The façade is designed with integrated planters to bring nature right to the patient’s bedroom window. The landscape is always present.”

“BIG’s ideas, together with the large green spaces and green surfaces, mean that we really can talk about a healing interpretation of the concept,” the jury commented in its remarks.

The BIG + WHR + Arup team attributes their success in addressing the hospitals’ goals to the range and depth of experience and differing perspectives that the collaborators bring to the project: an internationally recognized, Danish design firm in BIG, a leading U.S. healthcare planning and design practice in WHR and an international engineering powerhouse in Arup.

Other shortlisted firms include Herzog & de Meuron and C.F. Møller. A winner will be announced in March 2014 and the hospital is planned for completion in 2020.

About WHR Architects
WHR Architects is a full service architecture, interior design and technology planning firm. The firm’s commitment to critical thinking is balanced by an ingrained empathy that results in both improved project outcomes and positive working experiences for their clients. With over 130 people in Houston and Dallas, Texas, and New Jersey, the 34-year-old firm is working on projects throughout the US for top–tier public and private education and medical institutions. Learn more online at or follow @whrarchitects on Twitter.

About BIG
Bjarke Ingels Group is a leading international partnership of architects, designers, builders and thinkers operating within the field of architecture, urbanism, research and development.  In all our actions we try to move the focus from the little details to the BIG picture.

About the Nyt Hospital Nordsjælland
Building a brand new hospital on pristine land is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The Nyt Hospital Nordsjælland project strives to be innovative and build a healthier future for patients, families and staff. The goal is functional and interesting architecture, innovative solutions, good logistics and well thought-out work procedures, which should benefit everyone using Nyt Hospital Nordsjælland.