Hear the Green...! WSDG Provides Zurich´s Hirslanden Heart Clinic With Environmentally Sound Acoustics

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A leading Swiss architectural firm with an ongoing concern for acoustics, introduced an innovative interior design concept.

Hirslanden Heart Clinic Zurich - corner hallway

¨It is our belief that acoustics play a major – and sometimes probably underestimated – role in human perception of the built environment¨

Dost Architecture a leading Swiss architectural firm with an ongoing concern for acoustics, was retained to develop a workflow and interior design concept to provide the expanding Hirslanden Heart Clinic with uncompromised functionality while also reflecting the organization’s intrinsic values. To ensure optimal acoustics and speech intelligibility for the new clinic, Dost engaged Walters-Storyk Design Group, global acoustics/architectural specialists, to study all aspects of the clinic’s room and structural acoustics – the latter being critical due to doctor-to-patient conversation privacy issues. A range of eight acoustical room treatments was developed based on WSDG findings. The clinic’s rooms were individually analyzed, and a matrix was created to determine which application would most benefit each room.

After reviewing WSDG’s findings, Dost developed a program that incorporates transparent, highly efficient acoustic curtains from the Silent Space Collection; designed and manufactured by Annette Douglas from Douglas Textiles. These eye catching Living Plant Wall Murals by Verticalis require natural or artificial light and minimal watering. These treatments are available in a variety of sizes. They can be hung on walls like paintings, and they have an absorption value comparable to that of a standard acoustical wall panel. Dost’s third recommendation was acoustically absorbing Baswa ceiling treatments, primarily intended for the hallways and waiting areas. The completed expansion and acoustic design program met all the client’s requirements for effective, aesthetically pleasing and environmentally sound room tuning.

Dominic Meister, Art Director and co-founder of Dost Architecture, remarked: “In all of our projects we like to think a great deal about the immediate visitor experience. It is our belief that acoustics play a major – and sometimes probably underestimated – role in human perception of the built environment – hence we focus specifically on the sonic quality of our designs.”

With 14 hospitals in all of the greater Swiss cities, and a staff of over 1600 doctors, the Hirslanden Group is one of Switzerland’s major privately-held health care providers. As one of the centerpieces of the Group’s operations, the Hirslanden Heart Clinic in Zurich offers the entire spectrum of modern cardiac surgery through its team of international specialists.


Walters-Storyk Design Group has designed over 3000 media facilities worldwide. Credits include Jimi Hendrix's 1969’s Electric Lady Studios; NYC’s Jazz At Lincoln Center and Le Poisson Rouge; broadcast facilities for The Food Network, ESPN, and WNET; major education complexes for NYU and Berklee College of Music Boston and Valencia, Spain; media rooms for Hoffman La Roche, and other corporate clients. Recent projects include NYC’s TEC award winner Jungle City Studios and private studios for Green Day, Jay-Z, Timbaland’s Tim Mosley, film composer Carter Burwell, Aerosmith, Bruce Springsteen and Alicia Keys. WSDG principals John Storyk (an adjunct professor at Berklee College,) Beth Walters, Sergio Molho and Dirk Noy lecture frequently at universities and industry events, and contribute regularly to industry publications.WSDG has collaborated with such noted architects as Frank Gehry, Rafael Viñoly, Norman Foster, Oscar Niemeyer, Phillipe Stark and Nicholas Grimshaw. WSDG is a seven-time winner of the prestigious NAMM TEC Award for outstanding achievement in Acoustics/Facility Design. The firm maintains offices in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, Buenos Aires, Belo Horizonte, Basel, Beijing, Barcelona, Mexico City and Mumbai.

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Sergio Molho
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