President moving to the Red Cross building
Stronger ties for KTH management and administration
It is KTH’s management and administration that will be taking over the Red Cross hospital building on Brinellvägen. The move is expected to take place in March 2012.
The social ties will be strengthened and the administrative work will become more efficient. These are the hopes involved in gathering KTH management and almost the entire administration in one building, the former hospital on Brinellvägen 2.
“It’s a very exciting redevelopment project that we face. The opportunity to take care of such a unique building is inspirational and we see great opportunities in the creation of a well-functioning office environment here,” says project manager and architect Maria Granath.
In total, an estimated 250 of the current 300 employees on the administrative department will be moving into the former hospital building. As of today, the administrative personnel are spread out over five different addresses in the KTH Campus.
“Of course this move provides excellent opportunities to bolster a sense of solidarity and make the work that they do more efficient. It opens up for spontaneous meetings, to enjoy a cup of coffee and talk to each other across departmental boundaries,” says Bengt Sedvall, Head of KTH’s Premises Department.
More large offices
Renovation work begins at year-end. During the autumn, Sedvall and Granath will talk to all departments about their workplace requirements and what roles they will have in the administration. Management departments with similar activities may be placed as close together as possible in the nine-storey building.
“We will be working hard to find the relationships between work units. We will meet with all department heads, listen to their needs and jointly develop solutions that are as good as possible,” says Bengt Sedvall.
Compared to today, a larger proportion of the staff will be located in large open office environments. Twenty-five percent of the rooms are so-called cellular offices i.e. rooms for one person - the remainder will be larger office space for between 4 and 12 people.
In connection with the large offices, space will also be made available for small meeting rooms and even “quiet rooms” where, for example, you will be able to have private conversations.
“It is extremely important that we are meticulous in this work and that we pick up on the signals we hear as to what needs there are. Hence the need for an open dialogue with all parties involved if we are going to be able to design office environments based on the desires of the different levels within the organization,” says Bengt Sedvall.
Church hall will become meeting rooms
The Red Cross hospital was built in the 1920s and has a few surprising areas. On the ground floor there is a church hall, fully equipped with church benches, altar, organ and pulpit. When the benches have been replaced with other seating furniture, the room will serve as a meeting place with seating for about 100 people.
And on the same floor, in an area where there is now a swimming pool, a canteen will be built where you can warm your own food. There is also an exit to the large park at the rear of the building.
“The idea is that everyone who works in the building will be able to meet here for lunch. We hope that people will feel that the dining area is a place that they can all meet; that it will become an attractive place to go to. But there will also be smaller coffee areas on each floor,” says Maria Granath.
One of the building’s attractions is on the roof where there is a terrace with spectacular city views.
“It’s a fantastic environment that we must make the most of. We will create some sort of meeting area which can be used for external visits or for internal meetings of various kinds,” says Bengt Sedvall.
The reconstruction of the hospital will take place throughout next year. Walls will be demolished, the wards will be divided up into rooms, new technology will be introduced, the ventilation system will be replaced and an entirely new electrical system will be installed.
The renovation work will require great care as regards the work of preserving the building’s interior design and details so typical of the time, says Maria Granath. An antiquarian inventory has been made to highlight those elements which are culturally protected. It covers everything from stucco, painted ceilings and painted mouldings to the fixtures on the walls and ceilings.
When the Red Cross decided to wind down its operations on Brinellvägen, a request was sent to Akademiska hus which bought the building in April this year. KTH showed an early interest in the premises and has leased the hospital building since October. The Red Cross will continue to pursue certain activities until the end of the year.
Text: Christer Gummeson