Deutsches Herzzentrum der Charité

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The new DHZC acts as a hinge between the redeveloped Charité Virchow-Klinikum and the leafy banks of the Nordufer Canal, anchoring a new axis that continues from the green urban waterfront at the campus’s south edge and continues north into the historic heart of the clinic grounds. As the first phase of a masterplan for the complete redevelopment of the clinic grounds, the landscape design of the new building responds directly to the specific programmatic identity of the cardiovascular health center and the facility’s long-term significance to campus circulation and neighborhood integration.


An elongated square along the building’s east side indeed serves as the first-built segment of the campus’s new north-south axis. In response to the staggered building footprint, which gently nudges east into the square, a generous new forecourt establishes a grand waterfront address of the


Virchow-Klinkum that will eventually cascade with stairs down to the banks of the Nordufer. The square – bathed in the dappled shade of gingko trees that continue the greenery of the waterfront into the campus – is in addition to serving as an inviting foot passageway also discretely doubling as fire and service access.


As the DHZC includes long-term care facilities for children born with heart anomalies, careful attention is paid to the design of the courtyard play area on the fifth floor. Here, a bright enclosed terrace includes thoughtful touches for children and nurses – and most importantly the provision of play fixtures that do not interfere with external support devices. In culmination, the rooftop recreation garden on the sixth floor unfurls as a verdant haven of health and vigor, where fresh air and panoramic views of the surrounding urban greenery cater to the well-being of staff and patients alike. The vegetation reflects that of a native forest, constituted of evergreen conifers and deciduous broadleaves as well as lush undergrowth. An undulating terrain of small hills enhances the sense of a natural landscape while also cleverly affording more planting and soil depth atop the structural deck. Weaving through the forest and around the base of the tower, which rises for another nine floors above the rooftop garden, a running track with a rich red surface runs like a pulsing artery between a variety of sport and fitness stations. This organic loop binds together spaces for physical activity, quiet reflection, recovery, and meditation, embodying the center’s focus on physical and particularly cardiovascular health.

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