Wood is exactly what the Doctor ordered

Wood is exactly what the Doctor ordered

Akershus University Hospital

"Health promoting“ hospital architecture. In 2011, the Building Better Healthcare Award goes to Akershus University Hospital in Lørenskog, Oslo, Norway.

The design of Akershus University Hospital was made by Scandinavian C. F. Møller Architects architectural firm. In 2011, the project has received the Building Better Healthcare Award for the best international design.

Efficiency, Technology and informal every-day Life

Akershus University Hospital currently is among the most modern hospitals in Europe. The design made by C. F. Møller Architects seems to disprove the sterile atmosphere of many hospitals. The architects’ plans integrates the patients’ usual every-day life into the hospital’s every-day life. At Akershus University Hospital the patients are supposed to feel at home. Klavs Hyttel, leading architect of the project: “The concept comprises three things: efficiency, technology and informal every-day life. We have tried to integrate all three components, and the result was the architectural character of Akershus University Hospital.“

Getting well quickly through natural Light 

The design of Akershus University Hospital is based on a sustainable concept. The deployment of geothermal energy sources as well as the use of the material wood result in saving 40 per cent of energy costs.

Quite often hospitals remind of a functional concrete block. With Akershus University Hospital in Lørenskog, however, wood as the main building material dominates the design. With its wooden façade, the hospital is a counterpart of the common sterile hospital atmosphere. Generous glass surfaces seem to break up the line between medical surroundings and the every-day world. In almost all rooms the architects have integrated daylight as a design element. The natural light coming in is supposed to have a positive impact on the patients getting well, according to the designers. Apart from that, the deployment of wood creates a cozy room climate. 

The hospital’s total area of 137,000 m² is divided into an atrium and two adjacent building wings. In these two wings you find the patients’ rooms and 22 operating rooms. On each of the five floors there are several wards. The individual units comprise six to eight beds each along with a ward room for nurses and physicians. The relatively small care units guarantee for a comprehensive and individual patients’ care.

Project details


C. F. Møller Architects


Completion 2011


137,000 m²


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jessymiller744's picture
jessymiller744 26. November 2014 - 16:33

What an interesting design! Even if it's slightly unusual to see that much wood into a hospital, everyone would feel more comfortable in such welcoming environment. The medical staff plays a very important role for the patients too and if you'll check out www.atlanticgeneral.org you'll see how the patient-physician relationship can make wonders in the healing process.

antonovici's picture
antonovici 2. January 2015 - 10:54

This place really looks amazing and it is similar to the Mountcastleveincenters if you pay attention to the way in which the light falls on the building. It is refreshing to see new approaches on institutions like these. Usually the hospitals and the school are lacking architectural imagination, especially in the US. Europe is more opened to these kind of things and other continents should get inspired.

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