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The New Children's hospital, Sarc Architects, Helsinki 2018. photo: Tuomas Uusheimo

New Children’s Hospital in Helsinki wins the 2018 Finlandia Prize for Architecture

The selector of this year’s Finladia Prize for Architecture laureate, forensic orthodontist Helena Ranta chose the New Children’s Hospital as winner for its innovative design. The hospital designed by Sarc Architects and Architect Group Reino Koivula opened on September 17th, 2018.

“Fascinating” and “challenging” is how Helena Ranta describes her task of selecting the winner of this year’s Finlandia Prize for Architecture. The pre-selection jury appointed by the Finnish Association of Architects SAFA had shortlisted five very different kinds of recently completed projects for her to choose from. Read more:

Finlandia Prize for Architecture shortlist covers the course of life

Ranta doesn’t see the Finlandia prize as a “may the best win” setting. For her, all of the five shortlisted candidates would have merited the prize, but the fact that the New Children’s Hospital was so empathetically designed with the comfort of the young patients and their families in focus made it weigh heaviest in her scale.

“Painted on the wall of the hospital’s entrance foyer are the words ‘Working together, for the safety and comfort of every child’ in Finland’s two official languages, Finnish and Swedish. This is a motto that I believe we can all live by”, Ranta explained. “The children now have a hospital, where every single detail has been carefully and thoughtfully considered with their health and wellbeing in mind.”

The team responsible of the architectural design was chief architect Antti-Matti Siikala and architects Sarlotta Narjus and Sakari Forsman from Sarc Architects and architect Susanna Kalkkinen from Architect Group Reino Koivula.

photo: Tuomas Uusheimo

“The New Children’s Hospital has been an exceptional project in many ways, but what truly makes it stand out is how immersed the whole design team has been in every aspect of the process, from considering the building’s impact on the wider urban environment to focusing on getting even the smallest interior details just right”, chief architect Siikala describes the design process. “We created our own fictional narrative to shed light on the actual experience that patients and visitors would have at the hospital.”

In addition to the New Children’s Hospital, the shortlist for the fifth Finlandia Prize for Architecture consisted of Amos Rex Art Museum, Lallukka Artists’ Home, Helsinki University Think Corner and Tuupala Timber School in Kuhmo.

photo: Tuomas Uusheimo
An award dedicated to foster the appreciation of architecture

The annual Finlandia Prize for Architecture is awarded for a building, a group of buildings or a renovation completed during the last three years. Each year an influential person whose merits are from other fields but architecture is invited to select the winner from the pre-selected shortlist.

This year’s pre-selection jury consisted of Professor Hannu Huttunen from Aalto University housing design and partner of ARK-house Architects, architect Janne Teräsvirta, Dr.Tech. Anne Stenros and architect Juulia Mikkola. Secretary General of the Finnish Association of Architects Paula Huotelin acted as jury secretary.

The purpose of the Finlandia Prize for Architecture is to increase the value of creative, high-class architecture and to highlight its significance for culture and well-being.

Explore all the Finlandia Prize for Architecture finalists from the past five years in the Finnish Architecture Navigator.