Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Extension and conversion of the Hôpital du Valais at Sion, Switzerland by gmp Architekten von Gerkan, Marg und Partner
February 9th, 2016 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: gmp Architekten von Gerkan, Marg und Partner
The 1st prize in the competition for the extension and conversion of the Swiss Hôpital du Valais at Sion goes to gmp Architects and Ferrari Architects. The extension building adds its additional space at a suitable distance from the existing building. The existing and new buildings form a cohesive light-flooded ensemble with short routes using the open space and a circular access route.
With their rationally structured design, the Aachen-based architects von Gerkan Marg and Partners, together with the Swiss practice Ferrari Architects, were able to prevail in the international competition for the extension and conversion of the Hôpital du Valais.
The existing hospital – built in the 1970s in the classic hospital typology with plinth and upper stories – is to be converted and extended by a new building with a floor area of approx. 33,000 m². While in future the existing building will accommodate the wards and administrative function, all examination and treatment areas such as accident and emergency unit, radiology, operating theatres, polyclinics etc. will be housed in the new medical services building.
The new building fits into the existing hospital ensemble like the piece of a puzzle – placed at a suitable distance to the south-west of the main building, the height of the new, L-shaped building complex mirrors that of the existing three-story plinth building. In this way, the ward building remains the point of identification of the hospital. The system of the modularly designed medical services building lends itself to being extended to both the north and east.
A landscaped patio is created between the new and old buildings. A new circular access route, with the main concourse as backbone of the new building and the foyer at the main entrance to the north, joins the two parts of the building. Some of its sections run along the inner gardens, which can be seen from a number of different viewpoints, and which become the central place for orientation and recreation in the complex. A diagonal „green“ axis links the northern part of the site – with the rehabilitation clinic and parking garage, through the foyer via the central inner courtyard – with the park to the south-east.
Thanks to the clear geometric layout of the new building in relation to the existing block, a new architecture of short routes, intuitive orientation, and complex vistas is being created – not only to the directly adjoining park landscape of the campus, but also to the alpine panorama of the Rhône Valley. With these simple means, the architects have managed to create a relaxed and wholesome atmosphere, which contributes to the recovery of patients and provides an inspiring environment for the staff.