Home / Skip Navigation LinksNews & Media / News / News archive

World's greatest hospital architecture

Photo: COWI

​St. Olav Hospital in Trondheim, Norway received a total of seven awards at this year's prestigious Design & Health International Academy Awards 2014 in Toronto, Canada.

The Design & Health International Academy Awards judges hospital projects from all continents. During this year's award ceremony 12. July the St. Olav Hospital became the overall winner in the following categories:

  • Best International Health Project over 40,000 sqm.
  • Best Salutogenic Design Project.
  • Best Product Design for Healthcare Application.

In addition St. Olav Hospital was highly commended in the categories:

  • Art in the Patient Environment.
  • International Health Project less than 40,000 sqm. (Knowledge Centre).
  • Sustainable Design
  • Interior Design.

Future oriented Hospital

"We are proud of having realized a new, modern and future oriented university hospital for the region. Among the most important qualities I will emphasize the fact that the hospital is integrated with the university, centrally situated in the city", says the managing director Nils Kvernmo in the press release from St. Olav Hospital.

A Universal Model Project

Dean Fredrik Shetelig at NTNU's, Norway's Technical-Scientific University, Faculty of Architecture and Fine Art says that both Hospital and university may feel honoured by receiving the awards in Toronto.

"The awards are definitely grand and acknowledge and reflect the St. Olav Hospital as a model project. During a bold architectural and urban idea, a complex and advanced process development and a high level of ambition, the result is a unique hospital that empowers and promotes the city, makes history and contributes directly to the patients recovery", says Shetelig.

He also accentuate that investments in well-planned architecture design only represents a thousandth of the total cost of construction. 
"In the long run planning constructions with high quality will be much cheaper for the society", states dean Fredrik Shetelig.

Huge requirements, mixed user groups

COWI have been involved in the planning and projecting design of all of the buildings at St. Olav Hospital since the start in 2003.

"A Hospital need to satisfy great demands on care, safety, efficiency, costs, quality for the patients nurses, relatives, doctors and trustees, says coordinator for the health care market in COWI", Alvin Wehn.

"The development of St. Olavs Hospital stands out as a success in regards to managing a project within budget, schedule, and the quality that was agreed upon with employees and users of the hospital early on in the planning process", concludes Wehn.


By Hans-Einar Råberg, har@cowi.no
Published 27.08.2014

What is The International Academy for Design & Health?

  • ​The International Academy for Design & Health is a global non-profit organization and interdisciplinary knowledge arena.
  • Its task is to stimulate applied research within design, health care, science, culture and economy.
  • It is also one of the few world wide arenas for health care architecture that also emphasize the health benefits of architecture and not only the functionality.
  • Main sponsors of the organization include leading international companies within architecture, engineering and health care such as Aecom, Arup, Ziedler and Farrow.

LAST UPDATED: 16.09.2016