Children’s Hospital wins Finlandia Architecture Prize

New building praised for its design focus on the wellbeing of patients and their families.

Interior view of Helsinki Children's Hospital / Credit: Tuomas Uusheimo

Helsinki’s brand new Children’s Hospital, which opened its doors to patients in September, has won the prestigious Finlandia Architecture Prize.

Designed by SARC Architects and Architect Group Reino Koivula, the hospital was praised for an approach which focuses on the young patients and their families, placing them at the centre of the design process.

Judges hailed the hospital as “fresh and innovative” and “an entirely new departure for hospital design”.

“It is wonderful that a patient and family-centred design process has also succeeded in delivering an architecturally ambitious result worthy of this incredible honour” says Antti-Matti Siikala, the project’s chief designer.

The facilities and services at the new Children’s Hospital are designed to make life easier for children and families, many of whom will be facing a difficult and worrying time when they visit.

“The children now have a hospital, where every single detail has been carefully and thoughtfully considered with their health and wellbeing in mind” says renowned forensic scientist Helena Ranta, who chose the prize-winning entry.

Other buildings in Finland that were on the final shortlist to receive the Finlandia Architecture Prize included the new Amos Rex Museum in Helsinki, a timber school in Tuupala, Lallukka Artists’ Residence and Helsinki University’s Think Corner.

File picture showing exterior of Helsinki Children’s Hospital / Credit: Tuomas Uusheimo

About the new hospital

Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District’s Meilahti campus, where the new Children’s Hospital is located, was financed by public funds as well as donations from private individuals and businesses.

The new facility treats patients from all over Finland, and carries out complex operations such as organ transplants and heart surgery.

Some €39 million was raised by a crowdfunding campaign to finance the project, which had the backing of local businesses and individuals. The total cost of the project was €170 million, and the new facility replaces the 1940’s-era Lastenlinna children’s hospital.

The new Children’s Hospital uses a lot of technology and innovation behind the scenes, as well as in the treatments available. Parents will also have the chance to stay overnight with their sick children, instead of having to go away each evening.

The hospital will also be used as a teaching and training facility for pediatric care.