architect: Henning Larsen Architects

location: Lund, Sweden

year: 2019

FORUM Medicum is the winning proposal for the Medical faculty of Lund University extention by the danish firm Henning Larsen Architects. With the open and transparent base as a link between the existing faculty buildings, Forum Medicum will become the new gathering place for employees, students, researchers and visitors at the University. The architecture creates a uniting forum for the town. The indoor plaza, the Forum, will be an accessible area with café, restaurant and meeting points and continues the outdoor public areas. The open indoor and outdoor areas will fuse into one great urban forum, making room for exhibitions and an informal learning environment, while emphasizing the functions of Forum Medicum for the outside world. The building on top of the Forum is rotated 45 degrees. The twist strengthens the identity and expression of the building, and makes the building blend in with the context around. The diagonal rotation of the bottom and top building utilizes the area optimally and provides unique recreational spaces in and outside the building in niches and terraces.
Flexibility has been essential in the design of the new building; the current space planning weighs the different needs that arises in an environment for both teaching, research and study purposes. The design consists of a simple modular system that can be modified from day to day, with the help of sliding doors and the likes, but also makes it possible to change the layout of the building more drastically in the long run, meeting the requirements of the changing needs for research areas and forms of teaching. Durable and natural materials are signifying for the building. Steel and wood are recurrent materials, creating an atmosphere of the building that juxtaposes clinic precision and sensuous warmth – professionalism combined with humanism. Façade and roof in the bottom building are also cladded with steel and wood, filtrating the daylight and providing a feeling of being outside under the treetops.
Good indoor climate, energy efficient solutions and sustainable long-lasting materials has been guiding tools for the design of the Forum Medicum. The reduction of the energy demands implements completely in the buildings passive properties - in the shape, structure and façade of the building. To lower the energy consumption further the building’s passive properties are optimized through envelope insulation, LED lighting and variable air volume ventilation systems (VAV). Photovoltaic panels on the roof cover an area of 1350m2 and maximize the production of energy with up to 200MWH annually. The design of the building ensures that the indoor environment lives up to the needs of an educational facility with various functions. The areas closest to the façade, with high solar exposure have a more flexible indoor environment. They are multipurpose, flexible spaces used for studying, meeting, leisure activities, etc. during the day. Due to the need of a more stable, controlled indoor environment, classrooms are situated distantly from the façade. This way they avoid direct sunlight exposure but at the same time maintain a high level of daylight autonomy (more than 50%) and a moderate daylight factor of 1 to 2%. The area around the Forum Medicum unites the new building with its context both literally and visually. The square in front of the building is open and welcoming creating a gathering point between faculty and town, users and visitors. The functions of the Forum Medicum, such as the café, the restaurant, the exhibitions as well as research and teaching, can move out onto the plaza as well. The more intimate courtyards are green and offer recreational spaces for the users of the building as well as a training station. The materials are natural and light. The concrete tiles of the pavement varies in shape and size depending on the space. Wood integrates in the furniture and in border zones. Plants and trees are freestanding and with light treetops, relating to both the scale of the building and the human scale. The vegetation continues towards the hospital and helps link the new Forum Medicum with its context.

Lund, Sweden
Client: Akademiska Hus
Gross floor area: 25,000 m2 / 270,000 ft2
Year of design: 2015
Construction period: 2015-2019
Type of assignment: Invited competition
Team: Henning Larsen Architects, Arup Copenhagen