The new building for the National Centre for Tumour Diseases (NCT) in Heidelberg is characterized by an open, friendly and inviting ambiance which has nothing in common with a typical hospital atmosphere. Here, patients, their relatives and friends, visitors, as well as staff can feel at ease. At the same time, the building provides an optimum environment for medical treatment and an ideal workplace for researchers, doctors, administrative and other staff.
The new building’s architecture is meant to highlight the character of the NCT, and to create an ideal setting for interdisciplinary work. Its central light-flooded atrium, extending over four floors, has been designed as a focal point fostering encounters and communication between doctors and scientists, patients and visitors. The eastern part of the building responds to the orthogonal structure and to the closed order of the adjacent „Kopfklinik“ (head clinics), which are part of Heidelberg’s university clinics. Here, three stacked floors accommodate the laboratories. The western part of the building develops more freely, setting itself off from the stringent orthogonal structure of the environment and responding to the slight curve of the street, this way establishing visual links to the „Kinderklinik“ (children’s clinics). Perched above is a two-storey, freely shaped volume which cantilevers over the building’s north entrance and western side. This element accommodates the consultancy suites and tumour conference areas, as well as offices for research and medical staff.
It architecturally unites the building. A generous and friendly reception area for patients offers clear orientation and leads them to the four ambulant treatment modules on levels 00 and 01.
The technical plants are located under the laboratory wing. Rain water collected around the building is filtered before reaching the ground water. The use of activated slabs and air conditioning only where necessary, optimizes costs for both the installation and operation of the air conditioning plant. The building conforms to state-of-the-art requirements for an energetically optimized building and is connected to the existing supply chain of the clinics on the campus.
Photo credits: Behnisch Architekten