Plans for a new shared hospital of the City of Helsinki and the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS) located in Laakso are under way.
The hospital area in Laakso is intended as a hub for psychiatric care offered by the City of Helsinki and the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa, HUS’s specialised neurological rehabilitation, services offered by the Helsinki City Hospital as well as outpatient clinics to support hospital operations.
The draft of the alteration of the town plan enables the construction of three new hospital buildings on the current plot. The plan also includes a new main access route and the construction of underground parking and maintenance facilities. No buildings are planned for the Keskuspuisto side.
According to plans, the shared hospital in Laakso will have hospital beds for 930 patients. In addition to this, the area will have outpatient clinic premises, which will be located in the buildings that remain in the area, as well as facilities for training and research.
A total of approximately 120,000 floor square metres of new space could be built. If the new hospital is built in its entirety, it will be roughly four times the size of the New Children’s Hospital in Helsinki.
A new main access route is planned for the customer and maintenance traffic via the underground tunnel starting at Auroranportti. Parking space for 550 cars has been designed in the underground rock facility. The current access routes will remain.
Versatile care in a central location
The Laakso hospital area is located in an area with easy access. The area enjoys versatile transport connections.
According to the vision for hospital areas in the Metropolitan area, psychiatric hospital treatment in the Metropolitan area and the services of the Helsinki City Hospital should be centralised to the Laakso hospital area.
The shared hospital of the City of Helsinki and HUS offers new opportunities to provide customers and patients with comprehensive treatment that meets their versatile needs. The shared hospital would employ an estimated 2,200 people.
“We believe that the new hospital will be an attractive place to work for the professionals in the field. We are developing the Laakso shared hospital into an internationally significant hub of psychiatry, geriatrics and neurological rehabilitation competence that attracts the best in the field to Helsinki,” says HUS Psychiatry Project Manager, Chief Physician Kari Raaska, who is involved in planning the new hospital.
“We must build new facilities. We can no longer use the old facilities or repair them to meet the standards of contemporary hospital treatment,” says Project Manager, Chief Nurse Administrator Tiina Pakasto from Helsinki City Hospital.
The valuable oldest buildings and the park will be protected
Most of the new hospital facilities in the Laakso hospital area would be concentrated in the area between the old hospital area, Nordenskiöldinkatu and Reijolankatu. The intention is to preserve and protect the valuable hospital buildings in the northern section of the plot dating from the 1920s and 1930s, the former tuberculosis office from the 1950s and the surrounding park. These facilities will also be renovated for further use.
The height of the new buildings on the Urheilukatu side would be close to the height of the roof of the hospital buildings built in the 1920s and 1930s. The height of the buildings could increase by a few levels towards the centre of the area.
Main entrances would be located on the new plaza forming at the corner of Reijolankatu and Urheilukatu, in the drop-off area and on the Lääkärinkatu side.
If the project continues on target schedule, construction could begin towards the end of 2021 at the earliest, and then continue in stages. New construction requires the demolition of some of the old buildings. The operation in these buildings would be moved to new premises prior to demolition.
Plans on display and open to feedback in November
The town plan draft material of the Laakso shared hospital and the scale model of the area are on display 6–27 November 2019 in the participatory facility Brygga in Central Library Oodi. You can comment on the plans online until 27 November at kerrokantasi.hel.fi. The feedback will be utilised in further planning.
The project will be presented in Central Library Oodi on Tuesday 19 November 2019. You can meet the designers in the lobby on the first floor 15.30–19.00. Presentations on the planning of the Laakso shared hospital will be held in Maijansali in Oodi at 15 and 18.
The objective is to take the plan draft to the Urban Environment Committee in 2020. Decisions concerning the project plan for the construction will be made later on.
Image: Indicative draft of the size and placement of the new hospital buildings. A draft of the Garden Helsinki multifunctional arena being planned has been included in the upper right corner of the image next to Helsinki Ice Hall. © Arkkitehtiryhmä LATU (Arkkitehtitoimisto Lukkaroinen Oy, AW2 Arkkitehdit Oy, Arkkitehtitoimisto Tähti-Set Oy, UKI Arkkitehdit Oy)