Designed by Nordic Office of Architecture in collaboration with Oslobygg KF, COWI, Skanska Norge, and Advansia, the Oslo Emergency Clinic opened in 2023 to replace an outdated, 120-year-old department, marking the start of new emergency health services for the city. Amongst many amenities, the 27 000-square-metre state-of-the-art clinic encompasses seven operating theatres, nine triage rooms, eight radiological diagnostic rooms, ten consultation rooms, a dental clinic, and approximately one hundred examination rooms.

Thanks to efforts including fossil-free construction, passive design, blue-green roofs, and solar panels, it became the first (and only at the time of writing) BREEAM-certified clinic in the world. The Rockfon acoustic ceiling tiles installed throughout the facility provide acoustic comfort to patients while meeting stringent hygiene requirements and contributing points towards the clinic's total green building certification score.

Europe's Largest Emergency Room

With thorough preparatory work from the users and early contractor involvement, the Oslo Emergency Clinic was made successful thanks to close cooperation all throughout construction phase, resulting in a building that relied on less concrete, more reuse, reduced energy consumption, and improved functions.

The Nordic Office of Architecture prioritised colour and daylight in their design, amongst a floorplan that centres maximum efficiency, creating a calm facility with streamlined operations for all types of medical emergencies.

The construction of the clinic began in 2020 – right at the start of the pandemic. The global crisis quickly inspired changes in the original design. Drawings were modified with short notice, and two new entrances were added based on new learnings in risk preparedness for the future: a "pandemic entrance", as well as an entrance to the infection department.

Acoustic Solutions in the Emergency Clinic's Design

According to a study investigating noise levels at an emergency clinic in Brazil, daily noise levels ranged from 65 to 67 dB(A) – a little below the average noise levels of a dishwasher – and above the comfort levels recommended by the Association of Technical Standards. Such high levels can cause staff fatigue, risky errors, and a general negative influence on well-being. It can also cause the vicious vocal phenomenon referred to as the "Lombard Effect".

Accordingly, it was key that the Oslo Metropolitan Emergency Clinic has a comfortable acoustic environment. Rockfon Medicare Standard acoustic ceiling tiles were installed across large areas in the clinic, whereas Rockfon Medicare Plus acoustic ceiling tiles were installed in the surgical wards. The Medicare range fulfils all cleaning and hygienic requirements for use in healthcare environments and was specially designed for environments such as the Oslo Metropolitan Emergency Clinic.

The all-white tile solution, Rockfon Blanka, was installed in the clinic hallways and healthcare waiting areas. Its smooth, deep-matte, super white surface helps diffuse the natural light flowing through the large windows.

As a major milestone in the city's history and landscape of facilities, the Oslo Metropolitan Emergency Clinic can now welcome approximately 500 patients per day in a safe, healthy, and state-of-the-art environment.

Metropolitan Emergency Clinic

Architect:Nordic Office of Architecture
Installer:Bærum Byggmontering
Photographer:Erik Burås
Tiles:Rockfon Blanka®, Rockfon MediCare® Plus, Rockfon MediCare® Standard
Edges:A, X
Dimensions:600 x 600, 1200 x 600

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