The Master Plan for the University Hospital of Münster, Germany, incorporates several structural changes aimed at optimizing the site and adopting the facility to the changing needs of the healthcare sector and to remain competitive in the field of research. Due to their sheer size and the prominence, the Ward Towers serve as icons for the vision of the University Hospital.
From the outset, the concept of the new facade symbolizes the mission of the University Hospital of Münster both functionally and formally, reflecting the priority the Institution places on the care of human beings. The design possesses an inviting and open character that maximizes the spacial quality of the patient rooms, therefore making their stay in the hospital as pleasant as possible. The visual connection to the outside, the optimization of daylight as well as the implementation of natural ventilation have a great influence on the well-being and recovery of the patients. These are the key factors that have been taken into account in designing the new façade elements that include the existing concrete brackets as bearing-type fixtures. This light-weight element consists of a balcony structure and a lamella balustrade, which then enables the service and rescue corridor to act as a patient balcony. In front of the glazing, those elements function as ‘natural light shafts’ to bring as much daylight into the interior of the rooms as possible.
The new façade serves to revitalize and strengthen the image of the Ward Towers as icons of the University Hospital while still preserving the architectural character of this existing facility.
Behnisch Architekten, München
2013, 3rd prize