Kolmisointu wins Old Vaasa hospital-area design competition

AW2 Architects and K2S Kolmisointu-plan for a new build in the Old Vaasa hospital-area, has won a joint first place with the Huomassa-proposal. The winning offices will continue the development of their plans in this Senate Properties project. The final design to be implemented will be announced in February 2023.

AW2 Architects and K2S jointly produced competition entry Kolmisointu has won the joint first place in the design competition for a new build in the Old Vaasa hospital-area. The designer for the other winning entry Huomassa is Lukkaroinen Architects.

The new build being developed by Senate Properties will house the forensic psychiatry’s three secured patient wards, a multi-function hall, kitchen, and staff dining hall. The aim is to provide safe and enjoyable environments for the patients and staff, while honouring the cultural historic value and protected buildings of the site.

The current main building situated in a beautiful park was designed by C.L. Engel was built in 1844.

The design competition has been architecturally high quality. The winning proposals fulfill the objectives of an efficient and comfortable treatment environment that integrate into the historical setting. Presently, hospital activity will continue into the far future, said the chairman of the Senate Properties judge panel Jari Auer.

Expanding spaces and landscapes guided by treatment

Old Vaasa hospital is Finland’s oldest hospital still functioning in its original location. Forensic psychiatry patients (eg. criminal patients), are the primary recipients of treatment in the current national psychiatric hospital.

AW2 and K2S winning proposal Kolmisointu respects the Empire-setting of the premises activites.

The spirit of classism permeates Kolmisointu, but the design solutions were moulded from the requirements of functionality, treatment, and safety. Instead of narrow buildings and central hallways the key ideas were wide cells and units, and the expansion of spaces and landscapes. New psychiatric treatment methods and creating a healing environment require a fresh approach, architect Kyösti Meinilä from AW2 Architects describes.

AW2 Architects is part of AINS Group, whose structural, acoustic, and technical designers participated in the proposals technical and sustainable design. The new builds structural and material choices, as well as geothermal heating, solar energy, and other energy solutions aim for a minimal carbon footprint.

The architectural competition was organised by Senate Properties and Old Vaasa hospital in collaboration with the Finnish Association of Architects, SAFA. Competition winners were chosen on 1.12.2022.

The final project to be implemented will be chosen in Feburary 2023 from the two winners after further development.

Link to Senaatti-kiinteistöt media release


Kyösti Meinilä, architect SAFA,
AW2 – part of AINS Group

Jari Auer, client manager,
Senate Properties
040 865 5047

Kolmisointu’s new build is humane and easily approachable in size, and natural in materiality. Concept photo AW2 Architects.

In Kolmisointu the wards receive ample natural light through the large glass surfaces of the balconies. Additionally a large proportion of the internal walls have been designed as timber framed glass walls. Concept photo AW2 Architects.


Dining halls, day halls, and saunas have great views of the landscape. Concept photo AW2 Architects.