University Hospital, Germany

An energy-efficient aluminium and glass façade for an award-winning surgical clinic at the University Hospital in Ulm, South Germany, has been created using bespoke curtain walling and window solutions from Wicona.

Designed by Munich-based architects KSP Engel and Zimmermann, the state-of-the-art 70,000sqm medical facility is the largest hospital in the region of Baden Würtemberg, providing 235 ward beds, 80 intensive care beds and 15 operating theatres.

A Building Design that Blends into its Surrounding Landscape

The new facility brings together six departments which had previously been spread across a number of different sites and thereby enhancing the standards of care. A key aspect of the design brief was to create a spacious and light interior, and a building that blends well into its surrounding landscape. It has a bright and distinctive envelope that features warm tones of yellow, orange, red and brown.

Windows Inserted into Curtain Walling for a Seamless Finish

The transparent areas of the façade were created using Wicona’s WICTEC curtain walling suite, and highly insulated WICLINE casement windows were inserted into the glazing for a seamless finish.

The façade solution was developed by Wicona in conjunction with fabricator, Dodel Metallbau. The WICTEC curtain walling has a horizontal emphasis and accommodates large spans of glass, contributing to an uplifting, welcoming and pleasant ambiance for patients, staff and visitors to the hospital.

Colourful Glazing to Create a Sense of Wellbeing for Patients

The window openings have multi-coloured glass to add interest to the front and rear elevations and introduce colour and light into each patient’s room to aid recovery and create a sense of wellbeing.

The hospital building has been constructed in two sections, with visitors entering via a large foyer. A central two-storey ‘spine’ allows access to all the specialist departments. The ward block is 160m long, and a ‘podium’ structure accommodates the operating theatres, intensive care unit, and outpatients’ department. Both elements have high levels of natural light and look out onto landscaped areas via highly glazed façades.

The First Healthcare Scheme to Receive Award for Design Excellence

Following its completion, the project has been presented with a prestigious architectural award from the German Architects Association. The panel of judges praised the ‘exceptional quality and functionality of the building’, and it is the first scheme in the healthcare sector to receive this award for design excellence. The building has since been used as a showcase project, with its design influencing other healthcare developments.

The Wicona WICTEC curtain walling suite has been used extensively both in the UK and internationally. It features a wide range of structural aluminium profiles to deliver vertical, angled, sloped and faceted glazing for optimum creative freedom. There are options for additional security, fire protection and bullet resistance without altering the appearance of the façade. The curtain walling suite has been extensively tested in accordance with the latest international standards, providing assurance of its quality and long-term performance.

The WICLINE series has been engineered to create complex yet attractive fenestration designs that offer a high level of functionality for natural ventilation and precision.

The project team for this healthcare scheme included:

  • Client: Universitätsklinikum Ulm
  • Architects: KSP Engel and Zimmermann
  • Main contractor: BAM Deutschland AG
  • Façade solutions: Wicona
  • Façade construction: Dodel Metallbau GmbH



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