September 2019

An efficient and sensual patient-centric emergency care centre

The new emergency care centre at Viborg Hospital has been designed with the aim of creating an efficient, flexible and stimulating treatment facility for hospital patients, where the focus is on flow, daylight, materiality and outdoor access and views of the city and the surrounding countryside. At the same time, the emergency care centre provides optimum working conditions for hospital staff, with the individual specialties and service functions all within close proximity.

The new facilities at Viborg Hospital cover more than 25,000 square metres and will – following the conversion of a number of existing areas and the construction of a new A&E unit – help to gear the hospital for the future. The hospital currently receives patients from the three municipalities of Viborg, Silkeborg and Skive. The vision has been to create a hospital which, through its architecture, contributes to greater patient centricity and a better working environment for hospital employees.

“In designing a hospital, flow and internal logistics are crucial, because every single metre of floor which staff have to cover unnecessarily has an impact on patient safety, the working environment and, therefore, in the long term, on the hospital’s operating economy. Consequently, at the new emergency care centre, the various functions are all in close proximity to one another, and there is an obvious logic to the layout,” says Mads Stenbæk Jakobsen, Head of Planning and Development at Årstiderne Arkitekter and Chairman of the consortium behind the new emergency care centre. He adds:

“The new A&E unit is based on the idea that the healthcare functions and professionals who are needed should go to the patients – not the other way around. As a result, a lot of patients can now be diagnosed and treated in the A&E unit without having to be admitted, which is a big advantage for them, especially as it means they only have one point of contact at the hospital.”

The project is based on an ongoing user-involvement process with the hospital employees whose professional input has ensured that the way in which the various departments and space are arranged supports the medical procedures and treatments in the best possible way. In addition to the new A&E unit, the project includes a new main hospital entrance, foyer, an auditorium, an enlarged surgery unit, larger image diagnostics and clinical physiology facilities as well as larger outpatient units and hospital wards exclusively with single-patient rooms – for improved patient-doctor dialogue and trust, and more room for relatives.


The design of the new emergency care centre is based on the principles of healing architecture, with optimum daylight conditions and access to green areas and views, and where the patients are able to look out across the city and the nearby lake Søndersø from the wards. The central foyer also offers impressive views of the lake. The strong connection to the outdoor environment also makes it easier for users to find their way around, in turn contributing to a greater sense of security for patients.

The interiors are designed using warm materials such as wood, natural stone and yellow brick, which supports a welcoming atmosphere – for example in the waiting areas and in the foyer, which is the first place that many patients encounter. In addition, the design of the building capitalises on the sloping plot to create roof terraces on some levels. The new building also features green roofs in support of the recreational views. In addition to contributing positively to the building’s carbon footprint, this feature also supports biodiversity and improves local rainwater retention.

The new emergency care centre is a new extension to the existing regional hospital, which has been built in phases over a number of decades. The architects behind the project have sought to create a building that blends in well with the existing hospital buildings, for example in the choice of materials. The base of the new centre is thus constructed from yellow brick, while the upper levels have a golden-brown aluminium facade as an implied reference to the existing complex.

The official opening of the emergency care centre is planned for later this year. The consortium behind the new hospital comprises Årstiderne Arkitekter, AART architects, ÅF and WSP.


Mads Stenbæk Jakobsen, Head of Planning and Development, Årstiderne Arkitekter
T: +45 4348 6030 M: +45 2015 5677 E:

Anne Aksglæde Stahl, Head of Marketing and Communications, Sweco Denmark and Årstiderne Arkitekter
T: +45 7024 2168 M: +45 2165 6455 E: