Psychiatry and Neurology / Administrative Building / Heating Building

Provincial Hospital Steyr

Urban planning
The Steyr provincial hospital is structured as a pavilion system. The various buildings were constructed between 1916 and the present as more space was needed, but there was no clear urban planning concept on which this expansion was based. New urban planning measures were taken to not only define a functional clear profile of the new buildings but also to integrate already existing construction axes and to respect existing building heights.


A clear strategy in architectural and urban planning terms was developed taking into consideration the heterogeneous structure of the existing buildings. The building structure now shows a clear north-south and east-west orientation. The “Schneidendes Zentrum“ forms a clear termination of the building to the west and at the same time marks a transition to the generously laid out patients’ garden; the administration building constitutes the termination towards the east.


Traffic flows & Orientation
The new traffic concept facilitates a clear delineation of traffic flows – most notably the access of ambulances from the west, serving all areas around the 2nd Surgery Center and the main arterial road on the east-west axis. We differentiated the various flows of traffic and streamlined und relieved the access paths and roads (ambulance, staff, visitors...). Therefore a new access ramp leading up to the hospital area and a new visitor’s parking lot deck were constructed.


Further on the goal of the new traffic concept was to provide clear orientation throughout the entire hospital and shorten the footpaths. The underground collector corridors were adapted and expanded. A new steel connection bridge were constructed to provide the shortest connection between the existing helicopter landing pad and the new central surgery room on the second top floor.

The urban planning strategy was continued, while giving clear expression to the architecture. Contrasts between full walls and transparent glass pieces, straightforwardness and clear structure are the principles governing the design.


As a matter of course several energy-technical considerations guided our design - considering prevention of overheating by means of structural measures (especially to avoid additional cooling in the patient rooms), reduction of outer surface of buildings and exploitation of passive solar energy (the glass facade of the administrative building and the glass parapets of the surgery center provide 260 m² photovoltaic solar power plant).


Mass and body of the building find a better understanding with the material brick – the building gets an anchor and warm place of relaxation. Brick as a material is very resistant, but still open-porous, which transports an integrative aspect for the patient. It is reminiscent to the use of a traditional, well known material, which influences our way of living. Therefore the patient is not irritated by a cool repellent material. In our concept we tried to create a new space, which enlightens the user, without distraction.


In the upper floor the psychiatric stations I and II are situated, with all necessary functional rooms, as well as the important crisis center. Both stations do have synergistic means, which are placed in the middle area of the building. The brick use for the facade is especially dominant in the first floor, where it is present in the day-hospital for psychiatry, as well as the occupational therapy, rooms for the patient’s attorney, and social service. Also important is a café for patients and multi-functional areas, which are easy to reach.


The building for psychiatry and neurology is divided into three blocks facing north/south with open halls in between – the therapy gardens. One of our main concerns was to lend the latter (which are interior space) the quality of outside space. In a closed ward such as the psychiatric one this is an aspect that is experienced as positive from a medical and therapeutic perspective. This was achieved, on the one hand, by the consistent continuation of the outer membrane on the inside and on the other, by the control of the ambient climate which allows the resident patients to experience the changes in season.


Interior Design
In general the deliberate use of color and material guided our design. For better orientation we have introduced clearly recognizable points such as the orange group of seats in front of the purple wall, etc. We tried to work with the color in the material, which gives natural tones.


Moving from one’s own home to a hospital can be a critical event in a person’s life, being linked as it is to a sense of being insecure, helpless and uprooted. A sensitive design of space and color should contribute to the patients feeling secure, safe and at home.


The materials wood (in the bed wing) or brick (in the psychiatric ward) create a cozy atmosphere and a harmonious ambiance (acoustics, regulation of air humidity)....) They become an integral part of the project design since the hospital can only offer refuge and be a place for recovery when building material, ground plan, exterior space and surroundings merge to form one consistent structure.


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Project Data
CLIENT: LKV Errichtungs- u. Vermietungs GmbH
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