Medical Hof, Wien, Austria

Year: 2008

Can hospital design offer new healthcare environments for patients, medical staff and visitors by rethinking their spatial relations?

Hospitals have for the most part evolved into a formulaic translation of functional requirements into physical form, limiting the role that architecture can play in healthcare environments.

This first stage competition entry for the design of a  medical campus on the periphery of Vienna takes on the full programmatic and economic requirements of hospital design to introduce a new typology – the ‘Medical-Hof’.

Our proposal forges relations between interior and exterior environments, while reconfiguring departmental layouts and adjacencies to shift how patients and staff experience healthcare settings.

Medical functions are located within the hospital based on short term/long term patient care, forming a new spatial logic of “fast” and “slow” medical programs for outpatient, inpatient and medical staff:

– Long Term: An external ring houses long term and inpatient programs: patient beds, nurse stations, educational and service programs along with the psychiatry and maternity wards.
– Short Term: An inner “medical deep throat” houses outpatient departments including doctor offices and core outpatient medical units.
– Interconnection: 50 meter skywalks and vertical circulation bridge between the short and long term functions spatially relating medical departments.

Taken together, hospital programs including emergency, treatment centers, long term patient care and educational facilities are both differentiated and strung together to define a large green open space within.

The ‘Medical Hof’ delivers a new medical typology, that rethinks large healthcare centers in terms of qualitative environments based on natural light, ventilation, spatial legibility, green access and orientation for the wellbeing of patients, medical staff and visitors alike.


Marc Frohn (F-A-R Architects), Rebecca Sternberg, Mario Rojas (F-A-R Architects)