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A rendering of a helicopter flying over the SNF General Hospital of Sparta set in a forest
An aerial rendering of the multi-building hospital complex of the SNF University Pediatric Hospital of Thessaloniki set among trees

In 2017, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) and Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW) in collaboration with Betaplan embarked on a common vision to create and deliver to the Greek National Health System hospitals for the future. The SNF General Hospitals of Komotini and Sparta, and the SNF University Pediatric Hospital of Thessaloniki will be three, state-of-the-art public hospitals located in underserved healthcare peripheries of Greece providing equitable, universal and quality medical care for all. With completion and delivery of the new SNF General Hospital of Komotini and the SNF University Pediatric Hospital of Thessaloniki scheduled for the end of 2026 and of the new SNF General Hospital of Sparta for the end of 2027, the three hospitals envision to bring about a new standard in public healthcare in Greece and beyond. 

The future hospital is one that is designed, built and operates with the human at the center. It provides an environment where caregivers can deliver their utmost, instilling pride, serenity and resilience in the face of the demanding everyday operation of the hospital. At the same time, the future hospital will bring dignity and comfort to patients of all ages by safeguarding the need for individualised care and privacy, while making room for a compassionate community to grow under its premises. This approach seeps through to SNF’s participatory approach to the hospitals’ infrastructure design and clinical programming which have all been the result of extensive consultations and continuous dialogue with the medical communities, hospital staff, residents and stakeholders of the respective locations.

Nature plays a central and therapeutic role in these hospitals, as it has done since the ancient Asklepieia. Parks, gardens, playgrounds and patios form an integral part of the hospital design with open areas for patients and the public, interactive spaces for children, beautiful paths under the tree canopies and internal courtyards. In healing gardens, patients will walk, hear, see, smell and touch the trees, bushes and flowers which will aid their rehabilitation process and well-being. Through transparent surfaces and vertical openings, all three hospitals establish a strong connection with the surrounding landscapes, fostering a soothing environment and reinforcing a sense of orientation for patients and their families, as well as all hospital staff. Natural light is abundant in the public and clinical areas of the hospitals, from the lobbies and education spaces to inpatient rooms, clinical corridors as well as operating rooms and intensive care facilities.

Environmental sustainability sits also at the core of these projects. Hospitals are critical energy intensive facilities that ought to reduce their carbon footprint and prepare for a zero-carbon emissions future. The three SNF hospitals will break new ground in their energy efficiency from the choice of construction materials such as timber for structural elements and walls, to on-site production of electric energy with photovoltaic roofs and geothermal systems. In parallel, the hospitals will introduce a paperless administration and the full digitalisation of clinical services, future-proofing the hospitals while acting as catalysts for the entire Greek National Health System.

Medical excellence and holistic, patient-centred care lie at the heart of the clinical vision. The three hospitals will be outfitted with modern medical equipment and technology of the highest standards, while the clinical programs are designed to not only fill current gaps in the three areas but to also meet future needs and delivery models that allow for innovation and optimization of services, including in terms of continuity of care and connection and collaborations with community and regional health units. Specialized medical services and mental health care have been introduced as part of the provisions, while inpatient care will be provided in single and double rooms exclusively. Specially designed spaces for families and children are included throughout the hospitals to further ensure a sense of safety and community for patients and caregivers.

Μain Design Team:

Project Manager: Hill International