New Children’s Hospital Interior


The old Helsinki Children’s Clinic was built during the 1940’s

By 2011 the building was found inadequate for its original purpose and the need for a new hospital was an urgent task. But without private funding, the construction of a new building would have been postponed far into the future.   

Therefore, part of the funding of the public hospital was collected in an innovative way, not just from the central government but also with the help of donations from companies and individuals.  SARC Architects was selected to participate in a competition by invitation and resulted elected to design in collaboration with Architect Group Reino Koivula a new unit specialized in children’s medical care in Helsinki. 

The New Children’s Hospital is located in the larger Meilahti hospital area. The building can be identified as a children’s hospital from a far thanks to its colorful facade. The three-storey lower floors are combined in a detached block from the bigger volume above. This is meant to better connect the building to the surrounding residential area with smaller buildings. This facade at the street level is covered with colourful vertical glass elements, thus producing an ever-changing view with the viewer’s movement. The upper main volume presents a facade covered with white ceramic tiles. The tiles are designed in different sizes, textured surfaces and reflective indexes to bring vibration and life to the large volume. In every window there’s a ventilated window covered with a perforated metallic panel. These elements are designed in 15 different tones and positioned in alternate order in each floor, conveying a sense of rhythm and color. 

Space planning of the hospital has been guided by the idea of fluency and templatization between medical processes and everyday life of children and their parents. Arousing a sense of security in patients of different ages and orientation within the hospital have been the basis of interior design throughout the project. The interior concept has been based on the nature of the archipelago, supported by Tove Jansson’s Moomin stories with authentic graphics, paintings and texts. Each floor has its own story.  Themes of stories are repeated in the colours of the floor, on signage, the graphics surfaces of the walls and as written quotes. Also naming of the floors has been done in accordance with themes of the stories. Names of the floors starting from the basement to the top are Sea, Beach, Forest, Valley, Magic, Mountain, Space and Star.

The basement of the building accommodates a parking garage, technical and social spaces as well as medical imaging research facilities. The main entrance and the lobby are located on the 1. floor. Reception and office spaces are concentrated on the 1.-2. floors. The procedure and intensive care facilities are located on 3.-4. floors and wards 5.-8. floors. Ninth floor contains space for building services. 

The New Children’s Hospital was awarded the Finlandia Prize for architecture in 2018.

Scope48 000 m²
ClientNew children’s hospital support foundation