New Karolinska Solna

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Stockholm, Sweden

Skanska & Skanska Health Care
Years of commission
Stockholms Läns Landsting & NKS
White, Reflex & Dot arkitekter among others
Healthcare, Landscape, Interior design, Project management, BIM & 3D Illustration, Accessibility
White Tengbom Team
Fredrik Sweger

A Sustainable World Class Teaching Hospital

Welcome to one of the world’s most sustainable teaching hospitals. New Karolinska Solna, probably Sweden’s most comprehensive hospital project ever is also the single largest engine behind the development of Hagastaden – a new part of Stockholm city and a Scandinavian centre for Life Science.


A great investment to meet the care challenges of the future

Stockholm’s region is expanding at a furious rate. The population is expected to increase by 350,000 people between 2010 and 2020. The number of children and elderly is growing faster than other age groups at the same time as our life expectancy also continues to grow.


Most of our current hospitals were planned in the 1960–70s. They are not prepared for the current or future rapid development of medical technology, medications, new treatments or procedures. Nor do they meet the requirements of the modern patient. Just like in other industries, the need for interdisciplinary activities have increased also within the healthcare services not least the conditions for exchange of ideas between disciplines such as medicine, research and education – so called Life Science activities. The need for dedicated and flexible premises is overhanging.


To be able to meet the challenges of the future health care, Stockholm’s county council is making one of its biggest investments ever. We are preparing for a real boom in health care construction and NKS is a central element of this investment. The hospital will receive its first patients in 2016 and be completed in 2018.


Collaboration in the White Tengbom Team

With a size of approximately 330,000 sqm, including 730 patient care rooms, 35 operating theatres, advanced technology for highly specialised care and strict environmental requirements, the NKS project is posing enormous challenges for all partners involved. It is the largest project in Sweden carried out as a partnership between public and private players, the country’s most advanced BIM-project and the first hospital to receive environmental certification according to Swedish and international standards. To meet the architectural challenges, the White Tengbom Team was created in 2010 – a project specific company where we collaborated with the architectural firm White to design the hospital together.


Around sixty of our architects, engineers and project managers have been involved in the project during the seven years that the project has been going on so far.  The work will go on including a follow-up until the opening of the last stage in March 2018.


Flexible environments for sustainable development

New Karolinska Solna is intended to last approximately 100 years – although we obviously do not know how the health care will look then. We are assuming a rapid medical development and exciting jumps in technology. Therefore we have planned the facility with great generality and flexibility, which means that the activity can be changed and rebuilt without disturbing the surrounding activities.


High ceilings, robust joists and capacity in infrastructure and technical supply are examples of important investments, which allows the activity to develop in a sustainable manner over time.


The patient in focus

The key words for the entire NKS project are ”putting the patient first – always”. All the planning and design has been based on the patient’s safety, integrity and comfort which means that every patient is cared for in his/her own room with adjacent hygiene room. The single rooms offer greater integrity and safety and reduce the risk of both contagion and incorrect medications. The design of the rooms makes it possible for the healthcare professionals to work as a team with the patients and to closely collaborate with scientists and students who can come and visit in a completely new way. The health care is moved closer to the patients.


A healing atmosphere

We have taken great care to design healthcare facilities that have a positive impact on the patients. Light and volume characterize the internal atmosphere with generous public spaces and many meeting places where people are allowed to mingle. In the interior, we have focused a lot in harmonious colours and natural materials.


On the exterior, NKS has been given a minimalistic elegance with a façade from glass, steel and white tiles. The design of the hospital building is based on a block structure with right angles that is a continuation of the neighbourhood of Stenstaden right next door. Five structures are connected with a structure made from glass. Entrances and activities shall have as open a relationship as possible to surrounding streets and squares.


The health care blocks are connected to the research buildings to the north, and the Karolinska Institutes new lab to the west. Between the health care and research facilities, the Academic street runs, tying together the New Karolinska Solna with the Karolinska Institute, which bridges Solnavägen via a new pedestrian and cycle bridge.


World leading Life Science cluster in Hagastaden

Stockholm County Council’s investment to meet future health care challenges included the vision of creating a Scandinavian centre and a catalyst within Life Science – a place where the business community, academia and clinical research, health care services can meet and interact. In the NKS project, the collaboration between health care, research and education has been the starting point for the architecture.


New Karolinska Solna will also be the single most important motor behind the development of Hagastaden – the new district where Solna and Stockholm meet, and which when completed will offer approximately 5,000 new homes and 50,000 jobs of which just over 6 000 at NKS. We are creating a science city for cutting edge education and research under the common name Stockholm Life. The main building of the hospital will form the focal point of Hagaplan, the new town square.


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