SNF Nostos



A Template of Future Hospitals

Thursday June 23, 10:15, Lobby NLG

Renzo Piano, Architect, Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Martin Hirsch, Head, Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris
Mark Caroll, Partner, Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Olaf de Nooyer, Associate, Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Paolo Pelanda, Associate, Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Raffaella Parodi, Associate, Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Helli Pangalou, Landscape Architect
Kay Killmann, Head of Europe, Green Business Certification Inc.


With the creation of three model hospitals in Thessaloniki, Komotini, and Sparta, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), in collaboration with the architectural firm Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW), aims, among other things, to “humanize” hospitals by establishing a different culture that changes the way people feel in health care environments.

The SNF General Hospital of Komotini, the SNF General Hospital of Sparta, and the SNF University Pediatric Hospital of Thessaloniki will operate as state-of-the-art public hospitals built to international standards. "It’s been four years since we started this project in 2018. We have now completed the design process for the facilities," said Mark Carroll while pointing to the plans of the buildings on the map, noting that construction is set to start in 2023.

Referring to the need to "humanize” hospitals, Renzo Piano explained, "In the last century we have created excellent hospitals from a medical point of view, but unfortunately we have lost the human element. Today is the moment to change it all."

"We must restore beauty! We are not talking about superficial beauty, but a wholesome, deep beauty like the one honored by Ancient Greeks," he noted in one of his many references to ancient Greece, stressing that "if you are in a hospital bed looking out the window at trees, it can be a great help. It helps the healing process."

All speakers highlighted the importance of natural light, with Carroll pointing out that "we don't want any dark spaces" before showing pictures of operating rooms bathed in natural light and in direct contact with nature.

"We return to the idea of the ancient Asclepieia. A hospital in nature.” “Nature can help us overcome fear. It is difficult to visit a hospital. We can transform this experience," explained Helli Pangalou.

All three hospitals have been designed to be climate neutral and leave zero carbon footprint, which Kay Killmann attested to, adding, "SNF reached out to us and said 'we don't just want the facilities to be LEED platinum certified; we want to foresee future EU directives.’ I know that hospitals are some of the most complex buildings one can design."