Groundbreaking ceremony for Laakso Joint Hospital
The new hospital complex will provide a modern, comfortable, and dynamic healthcare environment for customers, patients, and their families, as well as for staff and students.
The Laakso Joint Hospital project is about redeveloping the Laakso Hospital area and creating enough facilities to house more than 900 new hospital beds for psychiatric inpatients and patients of Helsinki Hospital. The Laakso Joint Hospital Alliance is also building new premises for HUS’s forensic psychiatry department in the Ohkola Hospital area in Mäntsälä. The groundbreaking ceremony was taking place on October 6.
The Laakso Joint Hospital is a joint venture of the City of Helsinki and HUS, and one of the largest hospital development projects in Finland.
Preparatory works have been under way since 2022. Earthworks for the underground facilities and the new main building began last spring. The construction of the frame of the new main building is scheduled to begin at the start of 2024. The deadline for completing the entire project is 2030.
Dignitaries attending the ceremony included the Minister of Social Security Sanni Grahn-Laasonen, the Mayor of Helsinki Juhana Vartiainen and representatives of the future users of the hospital, namely Executive Director Juha Jolkkonen from the City of Helsinki’s Social Services, Health Care, and Rescue Services Division, CEO Matti Bergendahl from HUS, Chairman of the Board Vesa Vainiotalo from the Kiinteistöosakeyhtiö Laakson yhteissairaala real estate company, Principal Designer Toni Väisänen from the Laakson LATU consortium, and Saku Sipola, President & CEO of the main contractor SRV.
A time capsule containing information about the project, copies of the day’s newspapers, and coins used in Finland was buried at the site during the ceremony.
Meilahti Hospital area to be extended towards Laakso
“The long-term plan is for Helsinki to have two concentrations of hospital services, with the Meilahti–Laakso area being the largest and most significant. The new hospital complex will provide a modern, comfortable, and dynamic healthcare environment for customers, patients, and their families, as well as for staff and students. The Laakso Hospital area is ideally located, and having somatic and psychiatric services on the same campus within easy access to Meilahti is sure to benefit everyone. The new hospital complex has been designed to be highly adaptable so that its operating models and set-up will continue to meet changing needs far into the future,” says Juha Jolkkonen, Director of the City of Helsinki’s Social Services, Health Care, and Rescue Services Division.
“The design is based on scientific research and best practices in psychiatric and somatic care. Medical professionals and experts by experience have also been extensively consulted. They have had a chance to visit a model unit and review the design and engineering plans, which have been revised based on their feedback. This ensures that the end result will be a contemporary, state-of-the-art healthcare environment ideal for providing the highest standard of evidence-based care,” says HUS’s CEO Matti Bergendahl.
Alliance model at the heart of the redevelopment project
“The Laakso joint hospital is a historically significant project for us, the construction of which is spread over several years. The alliance model chosen for the construction of a large and demanding project is absolutely right, and we can once again use our extensive experience in cooperative project management to support our important customers. In order to ensure the best possible outcome, we have developed project design solutions in close cooperation with designers, users, the customer and alliance partners. A successful outcome means that the new buildings and facilities meet the needs of the staff, patients and customers while achieving the financial goals set for the project,” says Saku Sipola, President & CEO of SRV.
The client in the project is a real estate company called Kiinteistöosakeyhtiö Laakson yhteissairaala, which is a joint venture of the City of Helsinki and HUS. Implementation is the responsibility of the Laakso Joint Hospital Alliance, which consists of SRV as the prime contractor, Granlund, and a design and engineering team made up of AFRY and A-Insinöörit. The alliance also includes the Laakson LATU consortium, which consists of Arkkitehtitoimisto Tähti-Set, AW2-Architects, Lukkaroinen Architects, and UKI Arkkitehdit and which is responsible for the main and architectural designs.