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​Competition: University Hospital Hradec Králové, Czech Republic

An open international contest has been launched to design a 1.8 billion CZK surgical centre at University Hospital Hradec Králové in the Czech Republic (Deadline: 7 July)

Organised by Prague’s Centre for Central European Architecture, the anonymous two-stage competition seeks proposals for a major new surgical facility on the city centre site, featuring 21 operating theatres .

The project will deliver a new surgical building between Nemocnice Street and the hospital’s Bedrna Pavilion, which is also due to remodelled. All hospital departments including the nearby emergency centre and the pavilion of internal medicine must remain operational during construction of the new facility.

Competition site: Next Level – University Hospital Hradec Králové

Competition site: Next Level – University Hospital Hradec Králové

Competition site: Next Level – University Hospital Hradec Králové

According to the brief: ‘The goal of the competition “Next Level – University Hospital Hradec Králové” is to find an architectonic solution for the surgical centre, composed of a new building (addition) and the reconstructed (now technologically outdated) earlier surgical pavilion, and to connect the two structures into a viable whole.

‘One of the priorities of the organiser is to find a solution that would be effective in functional terms, yet also bring new aesthetic qualities into the hospital complex. Since the plan proposes the first step to be the completion of the new surgical centre and only then the reconstruction and modernisation of the current pavilion, the architectural team that emerges victorious in the competition will be working with the University Hospital Hradec Králové on a long-term basis.’

Competition site: Next Level – University Hospital Hradec Králové

Competition site: Next Level – University Hospital Hradec Králové

Competition site: Next Level – University Hospital Hradec Králové

The historic city of Hradec Králové is around 100km north-east of Prague, and was formerly a major centre of musical instrument manufacturing. Today its main industries are food-processing, photo-chemicals, electronics manufacturing and IT. The University of Hradec Králové was founded in 1964 and is spread across several city centre locations including the hospital site.

Proposals for the site, one of the largest medical facilities in the Czech Republic, must provide the best possible working environment for medical staff, as well as a safe and pleasant setting for patients.

The contest’s overall winner will receive 3,500,000 CZK , and there will also be a second prize of 2,200,000 CZK and third prize of 1,500,000 CZK. A 1,800,000 CZK prize fund will also be shared between participants in the competition’s second round.

How to apply

Deadline

The deadline for submissions is 2pm local time (CEST) on 7 July.

Contact details

Igor Kovačević
Competition Secretary

Tel: +420 603 810 083
Email: kovacevic@moba.name

Visit the competition website for more information

View the contract notice for more information

Ulster Hospital case study: Q&A with Andrew McKeown

The associate director at Avanti Architects discusses lessons learned designing a new inpatient block at Ulster Hospital in Northern Ireland

Andrew McKeown

Andrew McKeown

Andrew McKeown

How did your project improve inpatient and day-surgery facilities at Ulster Hospital?

The new inpatient ward block at the Ulster Hospital provides 12 inpatient wards comprising 288 single rooms with en-suite bathrooms as well as four day-surgery theatres, endoscopy and angiography department, a cardiac investigation unit, a pharmacy and a public café. It is the first major phase of the extensive redevelopment programme at the Ulster Hospital which will replace the outdated existing 1960s hospital buildings, which are no longer fit for purpose.

Ulster Hospital inpatient block by Avanti Architects & Kennedy FitzGerald Architects

Ulster Hospital inpatient block by Avanti Architects & Kennedy FitzGerald Architects

Ulster Hospital inpatient block by Avanti Architects & Kennedy FitzGerald Architects

With 100 per cent single rooms, the design of this element was fundamental to the success of the ward plan. The corridor glazing provides good patient observation for the staff as well as allowing the patient to have views of other patients and staff if required. Privacy is provided through powered blinds that can be controlled from the patient’s handset. This flexibility is beneficial in combating possible feelings of isolation that some patients might experience within single bed wards.

The materials and colours have been chosen to give the patient a relaxed non-clinical room environment. Integrated services at the bed head and built in storage and wardrobe facilities create a clutter-free space that is easier to maintain and clean.

Ulster Hospital inpatient block by Avanti Architects & Kennedy FitzGerald Architects

Ulster Hospital inpatient block by Avanti Architects & Kennedy FitzGerald Architects

Ulster Hospital inpatient block by Avanti Architects & Kennedy FitzGerald Architects

Which architectural, material and other methods did you harness in your design?

The large full-height windows and the transparency through the depth of the plan ensure that all departments feel strongly connected to nature and to the seasons, breaking with the inward-looking, institutional feel that still dominates many hospitals.

Externally, the ward accommodation is expressed through the large areas of curtain wall with either transparent glazing or back coloured glass spandrel panels. The extensive use of glass unifies the curtain wall area so that it appears as a seamless glazed surface within a light ceramic tiled rainscreen frame. This simplifies the very large areas of façade and reduces the overall number of materials and transitions.

Ulster Hospital inpatient block by Avanti Architects & Kennedy FitzGerald Architects

Ulster Hospital inpatient block by Avanti Architects & Kennedy FitzGerald Architects

Ulster Hospital inpatient block by Avanti Architects & Kennedy FitzGerald Architects

What advice would you have to contest participants on designing a surgical centre for the University Hospital Hradec Králové?

A major challenge, in replacing the older buildings on a live and densely developed site, is how to integrate new buildings both clinically and architecturally into a coherent future layout so that, once the existing hospital buildings are removed, they relate to each other in a logical way in terms of clinical adjacencies.

While meeting the logistical challenges of the site and the complex clinical requirements of the hospital are crucial, it is also essential that the masterplan and the buildings within it create a quality of environment both internally and externally that is exemplary, and that genuinely contributes to the therapeutic goals of the hospital.

Ulster Hospital inpatient block by Avanti Architects & Kennedy FitzGerald Architects

Ulster Hospital inpatient block by Avanti Architects & Kennedy FitzGerald Architects

Ulster Hospital inpatient block by Avanti Architects & Kennedy FitzGerald Architects

Q&A with Vladimír Palička, Jan Vojáček and Karel Antoš

The hospital director, head of the modernisation of the surgical centre and hospital vice director for strategic planning and development discuss their ambitions for the contest

Why are your holding an international contest for a new surgical centre at University Hospital Hradec Králové?

The local experience in designing such a large-scale project could be limited and that is why we want to have an international competition to open this project for European architects as well. We believe that international participation will ensure a sufficient number of high-quality proposals and bring new fresh ideas. This contest plays an important part in the hospital’s approach to renew its facilities. The aim of the project is to centralise all surgical specialities, and it is the hospital’s biggest project ever.

What is your vision for the new surgical centre?

At present, the surgical specialities are located in different buildings. All these buildings are outdated and would require a complete reconstruction in the near future. However a simple reconstruction is not feasible because the hospital doesn’t have appropriate spare capacities and it wouldn’t bring required synergies in surgical branches. That is why the administration of the hospital decided to centralise surgical specialities in one building, in the new surgical centre. In the project the re-engineering of the processes has been done. Surgical branches have been restructured, and redefined departments have been created.

The centre will incorporate 16 standard wards, four surgical intensive care units, recovery unit and 21 operating theatres including the hybrid operating room and central sterilisation. There will also be a big outpatient department and multiple imaging radiology modalities including MRI, CT etc. It is clear that such a large and important project puts high responsibility on architects and requires deep understanding of specific requirements of health care provision from a number of dimensions: patients and their relatives, medical staff, operational effectiveness, sustainability and others. It is quite challenging task.

What sort of architects and designers are you hoping will apply?

The competition is open to all certified architects including young talent. However, for the second round, a defined expertise is required in terms of finished general and medical projects in the past. We guarantee that all proposals will be exhibited at the end of the contest. And, of course, the project and the competition itself are publicised.

Which other design opportunities are on the horizon and how will the architects be procured?

Currently, we are focused on this project and we do not intent to organise any other projects similar to this one.

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