Editorials from our Directors

Our internationalized present and future

During 2017, eight European University Hospitals allied for the future of healthcare, research, education and innovation. This alliance was signed at Vall d’Hebron Barcelona Hospital Campus. The European University Hospital Alliance in which participates Vall d’Hebron, is an example of how important is to work together with other centres from countries around Europe to improve patient outcomes, promote experiences and opportunities for healthcare professionals at all levels and to strengthen relationships with other stakeholders, including but not limited to policymakers, pharmaceutical and medical technology companies, EU and other funding bodies.

Of course, once again, the research was a key point in common of all these institution that have, no matter what it seems, the same problems, the same objectives, the same challenges and the same desire to solve patients’ problems also with the research of today that will be the medicine of tomorrow. Vall d’Hebron and Karolinska University Hospital met two years ago to put the basis of what now is a real project. Besides these two institutions, our partners are King’s Health Partners, Medical University Vienna and Vienna General Hospital, Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, San Raffaele Hospital, Greater Paris University Hospitals, UZ Leuven and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. The most important and greatest hospitals and their research centers in Europe, university or academic hospitals, that perform the most advanced and specialized care, covering a wide span of clinical specialties. They also are considered reference hospitals at the regional and national levels and have put research, education, innovation and knowledge transfer at the center of its present and future strategy.

We work and meet together in three groups: the healthcare, the management and the research discussion group. We are already getting results from the research point of view, once again proving that international network is more than necessary in our present and future.

But Europe isn’t our only international scope, we have relations with other Hospital Campus around the world. They usually visit us, share information and concerns, and work together in international meetings in which Vall d’Hebron wants to be always present. We have and will sign alliances with centers in USA, Australia and Africa, most of them with research projects between researchers or institutions as the main argument.

Our present and future is based in the improvement of our approach to the patients, and it’s necessary to innovate and act globally to get more answers to accomplish our mission.

The real new building

Since May 12th  2017 the Catalan architects of BAAS Arquitectura i Espinet / Ubach are in charge of designing the new building of Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR) inside the project of a new Vall d’Hebron Barcelona Hospital Campus. The design was chosen among five proposals by an international jury, which highlighted their integration to the new campus and its combination of classic and peaceful image.

We were looking for a classic design, serious and trustworthy, with a post-stressed concrete structure that allows large spans and flexibility of spaces of relationship between professionals and sites the laboratories in central areas. At the same time, the project is to create a single track of traffic on the Campus, to allow quick access from the beltways to the various buildings. A Mediterranean-style building, which transmit the values of innovation and excellence, improve the integration and communication between the researchers and the young talent willing to work. A project that will become the engine of change for a new Vall d’Hebron Campus, more enjoyable, more accessible and healthy, open to the environment and the residents.

This new building will change VHIR and Campus in general, aiming to get a better integration between research and healthcare. Our new home will prove the quality and excellence of VHIR’s research and should be impressive enough to be at the same level of our scientific production and projected internationalization.

The project began twenty years ago to solve one of the problems of Vall d’Hebron, to put the space at the height of its professionals. The winning project is a building that seeks to melt into the surroundings by means of a Mediterranean and sustainable architecture. This is a proposal for a single façade, situated between the present building of the UAB in the Vall d’Hebron Campus and the Hospital of Traumatology and Rehabilitation, on the site of the former laundry of the hospital. The plant is defined by three courtyards, one of which is open to the exterior, and continuous terraces.  As highlights Jordi Badia, director of the architecture study BAAS, the work spaces are built around these courtyards and a large terrace on the perimeter that creates outdoor spaces of encounter between the researchers and protects the building from the sun.

The entrance to the building will be done through a great hall with a glass roof, through which access to the first of the courtyards and in to the Auditorium. The scheme of distribution of the space is open, allowing changes to adapt to future needs. The roof of the building will occupy a garden, extension of the surrounding park, which will function as a place of rest and cover to reduce energy consumption. In this sense, the project is designed to promote energy efficiency.

Beyond the description of the project, this is the script of a dream which is going to be a reality very soon. We have made and will do a lot of effort previous to the project, after the nomination of the winners and before the construction. Despite the not always easy environment we will find all the needed funds, which added to our economic effort as an institution will allow us to have a great space for our great researchers.