Italy, Verona 

Hospital Borgo Trento


Design Volkwin Marg and Studio Altieri
Partner firm studio cfk, Martin Weigert
Project management Robert Friedrichs, Arne Starke (to 2007)
Design staff Regine Glaser, Jens Jackowski, Ina Hartig
Construction staff Regine Glaser, Jens Jackowski, Ina Hartig, Gabriele Wysocki
from 2007 Inga Cassens, Alessia Spezzano, Anna Falkenbach, Bernd Kottsieper
General contractor Bonatti s.p.a.
Planning commenced January 2001
GFA 96,300 m²
Construction 2005–2010



Heiner Leiska

Marcus Bredt

Borgo Trento Hospital is of general importance for northern Italy. It is a pilot project by the Italian Ministry of Health, involving a thorough update and modernization of a large working inner-city hospital while keeping all hospital functions running throughout the construction period.

Located by the River Adige in north Verona close to the city centre, the hospital is getting a new multi-functional, compact complex of buildings accommodating various medical and general functions. These include surgery, intensive care, wards, operation theatres, Accidents & Emergencies (A&E), clinics and outpatients’ department, and radiology, plus public areas (shops, catering etc.).

The new block now completed in the first phase has nine storeys overall, and is in the centre of the century-old hospital site. The existing buildings in this area were demolished, and their functions - previously distributed over a motley of individual conversions and additional buildings - have been integrated in the new buildings. This enables the operation of the hospital to be restructured for future needs, and considerably improves operations functionally and drives down costs (shorter transits, better care, maintenance, etc.).

The second phase will see vital functional areas such as laboratories and analysis installed in the Piastra, a two-storey building below ground level, lit by natural daylight by means of sunken garden courtyards. Putting these facilities below ground, in combination with the compactness of the high-rise block, frees up space for a new landscaped, park-like area called the Great Garden.

As a key design feature, the Great Garden in the centre of the hospital site establishes a buffer zone between old and new. More importantly, it provides a large, high-quality park area enhanced by architectural features (pergola, fountains, steps, ramps, bridges etc.), where visitors and patients can relax in the open air.

The new buildings at Borgo Trento consist basically of four components:

  • the Polo, a square main building with an interior courtyard. Inter alia, it includes 33 operating theatres (the biggest such facility in Italy), surgery, intensive care and wards on the top three floors and an atrium with shops, catering etc. on the ground floor;
  • the Ambulatorium, a four-storey wing in front of the Polo containing the main entrance lobby and specialist medical areas of the polyclinic and outpatients’ department (with their own operating theatres);

  • the Pronto Soccorso, a two-storey group likewise in front of the Polo and facing the river. This handles A & E, and is accessed from the riverside road. It also has direct access to the operating area.

In addition to the above buildings, a new technical facility was constructed in a different part of the hospital site, the design scheme of which following that of the overall site;

  • in a later second phase comes the Piastra, a below-ground two-storey building with a diagnostic and therapy centre (Level -1: radiology, transfusions, physiotherapy, laboratories, etc.; Level -2: technical), with an enclosing access route linking with existing buildings in the area.