Huge auditorium and state-of-the-art simulators: UP constructs new building for future healthcare professionals

Photo: Martin Višňa, visualisation in the text: Atelier Velehradský
Wednesday 6 September 2023, 14:00 – Text: Martin Višňa, Egon Havrlant

The construction of a new building for the education of UP Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry and Faculty of Health Sciences students was inaugurated with a symbolic tap on its heart-shaped cornerstone. The modern and distinct building in Hněvotínská Street will have a lecture hall for nearly 400 people, facilities for practical training of future doctors and health professionals on state-of-the-art simulators, and a canteen that can serve 2000 diners a day. Construction work is expected to be completed in early 2026.

In front of the historical building of the Theoretical Institutes, which has been used to educate future doctors and health professionals since the 1960s, a neurological reflex hammer was used to tap the foundation stone of the new building by Deputy Minister of Education Jaroslav Miller, Senator Lumír Kantor, Governor of the Olomouc Region Josef Suchánek, Mayor of Olomouc Miroslav Žbánek, and Ondřej Foukal on behalf of the construction contractor, Gemo company, in addition to representatives of Palacký University Olomouc. Then Bishop Josef Nuzík blessed the new building.

 “It is obvious that the social demand for quality doctors and health professionals has been high for a long time, and it has quite understandably increased after the Covid pandemic. I am therefore very glad that we are paying maximum attention to the education of future professionals for the health sector and that we are further improving the conditions for their theoretical studies and professional training. From the point of view of the future of top-quality health care in the Czech Republic, this is of the greatest importance,” said UP Rector Martin Procházka. As he also noted, he is himself a proud graduate of the medical faculty in Olomouc, has been working as a doctor at University Hospital Olomouc for many years, and was Dean of the UP Faculty of Health Sciences before becoming university rector.


“I am therefore very well-acquainted with the needs of our students as well as with practice in the hospital. Moreover, healthcare is not only my lifelong profession but also my love. I am confident that we will successfully educate doctors and other healthcare professionals in the new premises who will work in this promising field and take care of patients with the same love and passion,” the rector added.

FMD Dean Milan Kolář also sees the new teaching premises as necessary for the further development of medical education at the faculty. “I am very happy that this plan has been realised and I believe that after the construction of the new building, the space requirements of our faculty will be secured for the next 20–30 years. The large lecture hall, with a capacity of nearly 400 people, will be used primarily for the study programme General Medicine, where the number of students in the first year currently exceeds 270, but also for other study programmes and joint events. The simulation floor, in turn, will enable the expansion of practical teaching on the most modern simulators so that students acquire the necessary competences and their background meets the current requirements for a medical faculty graduate,” Dean Kolář said.

 “I believe that thanks to the construction of the new building and in cooperation with the UP Faculty of Health Sciences and University Hospital Olomouc, we are going to build a centre of medical education, science, and healthcare that will stand out not only in the Olomouc Region, but within the entire Czech Republic,” he added.

According to FHS Dean Jiří Vévoda, the new premises have the potential to make studies more attractive and create conditions for better and more successful education in study programmes such as General Nursing, Midwifery, and Emergency Medicine. “The new premises will allow us to concentrate all simulation technology in one place and reduce costs. This will create an efficient and compact environment that will support education at the highest level. I am also convinced that the new shared building will promote and strengthen interdisciplinary collaboration between the medical and health sciences. Experiences and knowledge from different disciplines will intertwine, bringing innovation and new solutions into healthcare,” he said.

The architects of the new university building, which will come alive with student teaching during 2026, are from Brno-based Atelier Velehradský. The unmistakable new building is being erected on a former military site on Hněvotínská Street; it will attract attention by its unusual shape and cladding of triangular glass and red metal panels.

 “The architectural design is based on the size of the plot and the spatial requirements of the operations located in the building. Due to the location of the auditorium, it was necessary to ‘inflate’ the building; then the design underwent gradual development until the building achieved its shape. The aim of the cladding is to optimise the incoming energy from the sun, provide high quality daylight, and minimise heat transfer. To enhance this energy-optimised solution, a ‘green’ roof was also used, which, in addition to its energy benefits, also helps in the retention of rainwater,” said architect Radek Hlaváček, adding that the biggest challenge in designing the building was to maintain the quality and simplicity of the structural solution in a geometrically optimised, yet complicated shape when compared to standard buildings.

The modern four-storey building is designed as a five-tract layout with classrooms around the perimeter and sanitary and communication cores in the central part. For more comfortable catering, the new building will also include a canteen with a capacity of about 240 seats; its premises will be used by students and staff of both faculties and will accommodate up to 2,000 diners per day. The total built-up area is 38,572 m3, while the total usable area is 7,288 m2. The cost of the construction, including all infrastructure, interior fittings, and landscaping of the surrounding area, will exceed €26 million, with approximately two-thirds covered by a state budget subsidy. The remaining third will be paid by Palacký University from its own resources.

The UP Faculties of Medicine & Dentistry and Health Sciences are located in the Theoretical Institutes building, built on the University Hospital Olomouc premises in 1955–1960. The historical building, deemed no longer fully sufficient for the requirements of teaching and research in the new millennium, was complemented by a modern extension with classrooms and laboratories, completed in 2013. Palacký University students should be able to start using the new building in the course of 2026, after it is fully furnished.


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