OULU UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL
Creating a world-class outpatient building for Finland’s most northerly university hospital
Founded in 1973, Oulu University Hospital (OYS) is renowned across Europe for its all-round clinical excellence, world-class surgeons and state-of-the-art Intensive Care Unit.
Located in central Finland, the hospital is the most northerly of the country’s five university hospitals. With 4,500 highly trained staff members, OYS is the main hospital for the Northern Ostrobothnia region, while its specialist medical services, including neurology and cardiology, are in demand across Scandinavia and beyond.
Looking to the future with a new outpatient unit
With around 125,000 outpatient visits to manage each year, in 2008 the hospital decided that a new outpatient surgery building was required to maintain its excellent standards of care.
The new, 19,100 sqm building would be sited next to the OYS’ main hospital building, allowing for easy transition between the two facilities. The outpatient unit would be arranged over five storeys with two additional underground floors providing readily accessible staff and patient car parking.
Services to be housed in the new unit included day surgery operating theatres, neurosurgery outpatient clinics and an arthritis therapy unit. Offices, meeting rooms and training facilities would also need to be incorporated into the design.
A 21st century building
WSP was asked by the OYS to provide design and structural engineering services that would realize its vision of creating a 21st century facility, within a strict timeframe.
Our expert teams used prefabricated frames for the building, including its underground floors, to facilitate delivery of the unit, though the structures were moulded to the soil on site to maximize the building’s structural integrity.
We designed-in features that would safely accommodate the very latest technologies used in clinical services, for example, MRI facilities. The building has also been designed with the needs of tomorrow’s technology in mind, including a highly flexible information technology infrastructure.
The new outpatient unit was delivered during a five-year construction programme with completion achieved in 2010.
Special emphasis is placed at OYS on individual patient care. The new facility focuses on patients’ wellbeing with a design that enables easy navigation and offers a full suite of pre and post-operative recovery rooms.
Importantly, the outpatient unit has good access routes to the main hospital building and its specialist services that might quickly be needed by patients, such as emergency care. Creating access routes between the buildings was a challenge because the outpatient and main hospital’s floors are arranged at different heights. A network of ramps ensure that the buildings are effectively linked together to allow for the swift transportation of patients and staff, as well as equipment and other care essentials.
The creation of the new outpatient unit is part of a wider strategy on the part of OYS to renew its entire hospital campus over the next 15 years, further strengthening its world-class offering to patients, staff, researchers and students.