Meilahti Tower Hospital 


Meilahti Tower Hospital

The iconic Meilahti University Tower Hospital in Helsinki was completed in 1965, originally designed by architects Reino Koivula and Jaakko Paatela. The hospital is located in Meilahti, at the University Hospital campus area and it has total of 16 floors. 

The building is considered valuable in terms of cityscape and cultural history and it was (and after renovation it still is) protected by the city plan. The Tower Hospital is the first high-rise hospital in Finland that aspired to look like a skyscraper, and it has one of the first Finnish curtain wall facade structures.  

We were involved in the project to lead the design of a complex, large-scale hospital renovation in the middle of busy Meilahti University Hospital campus. The work was done in co-operation with Arkkitehtiryhmä Reino Koivula. 

The goal was to build demanding specialized medical care ward facilities that are hygienic, safe, technologically modern and support the patient’s privacy and the patient’s participation in their care.   

Numerous changes had been made to the building during its history. The most notable had been the step-by-step renovation of the original facade structure between 1980 and 1996, where the building’s windows and facade cladding were replaced and the outer wall was additionally insulated. 

In the facade structure, despite the repairs, there had been several water leaks through the outer wall structure. This had caused indoor climate problems in the building. The aluminum facade panels installed in place of glass façade claddind during the 80’s repair had also lost its original, dark blue tone. 

The Tower Hospital’s technical systems were obviously outdated and their current capacity was not sufficient to meet the requirements set by modern hospital operations for ventilation and electrical-, information- and medical technology. 

The new structures implemented in the renovation of the facades and the roof were designed to withstand the climatic stress caused by the location by the sea shore and considerable height of the building. 

New facades were also designed to meet the valid building regulations regarding energy efficiency as well as the functional requirements set by the clinical work and hospital maintenance. 

During the planning of the new facades, there was a close co-operation with the city planning and museum authorities. The protection order for the Tower Hospital in the city plan was taken into account. The new structure restored the original glass facades to the building and bring back its original deep blue color.   

All HVAC-systems of the Tower Hospital were renewed to the level required for a new, modern hospital. The necessary space for the new ventilation equipment was created by raising the existing technical room floor by approximately three meters. 

With the renovation, the building’s fire safety was improved. The elevators were renewed to be suitable for evacuation and firefighting use, and the entire building was equipped with automatic fire alarm and extinguishing systems.   

The plans were renewed in their entirety. The wards were designed to be similar in terms of space and technical solutions, to be flexible and adaptable for use in different clinical specialties. New toilets and showers were built next to each patient room. Total of 11 wards were planned, from the 4th to 14th floor. The number of beds decreased due to the space reservations required by single bed rooms, better toilets and showers and technical facilities. In the final situation there is a total of approximately 330 beds. Intensive care monitoring places were made on the 1st and 2nd floors. On the third floor there’s premises for the neurology outpatient clinic. Office, teaching and conference facilities were built on the ground floor.  


Location: Meilahti, Helsinki, 2014 

Gross area: 35 000 m² 

Client: HUS Helsinki University Hospital