Media Release

Merger for the Sake of the Heart: Charité University Hospital and German Heart Center Berlin Establish World-Leading Cardiology Unit

© wörner traxler richter planungsgesellschaft mbH
The joint use of property by Charité University Hospital and German Heart Center Berlin is scheduled to be completed in six years.

Berlin, Germany, March 29, 2022. The Charité University Hospital in Berlin and the German Heart Center Berlin are combining their expertise in cardiac medicine at the Charité German Heart Center. Construction of the new building required for this purpose will start in 2023. It will accommodate more than 300 patients in addition to state-of-the-art operating rooms and cardiac catheter laboratories. A European leader in top-class cardiology treatment is to be established on the Virchow Hospital campus in the Wedding district of Berlin. Drees & Sommer supports the project from planning to execution phase. The Stuttgart-based planning and consulting company specializes in construction and real estate.

Berlin's population is growing, and with it the city's demand for medical care. In tandem with increased demands on the medical profession at this time, innovative forms of care and updated room structures in hospitals are especially important. Against this background, a world-leading university cardiac center will be formed jointly from the hospital services provided by the German Heart Center Berlin and all Charité cardiac medical facilities on the Virchow Hospital campus, the Charité campus in Berlin Mitte district, and on the Benjamin Franklin campus.

Focus on the Patient

The future architectural centerpiece of the new hospital will be realized as a compact multi-story building. With state-of-the-art operating rooms, cardiac catheter labs and hybrid procedure rooms, it will set standards throughout Europe. The new building, which is scheduled for completion in 2028, will also house the central emergency department and the central sterile supplies department. The landmark project on the Virchow Hospital campus will thus offer treatment at the highest level for patients with cardiovascular diseases. The user-friendly design of the rooms was made possible through a planning process using Building Information Modeling, or BIM for short.

‘BIM is a method of networked collaboration that brings together all relevant data in a model. This model is a three-dimensional digital twin of the future building, with extreme depth of detail. Every entrance and every window, every cable, every room and every operating room can be displayed on the screen and changed. In a construction project of this complexity, this method enables the rooms to be planned and designed in perfect tune with the subsequent users – even before the first foundation stone is laid for the new building,’ explains Jürgen Zimmermann, Director of Healthcare the Division at Drees & Sommer.

Modern Heart Medicine Meets Sustainability

The needs of the users are addressed not only with the aid of the BIM method: ‘The link between human health, the environment and climate protection is also a focus in the planning of the new cardiac center,’ explained Heiko Rihm, Drees & Sommer’s expert on hospital planning and healthcare facilities. Based on the green hospital approach, the aim is to achieve sustainability certification in line with the requirements of the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB). ‘A new building complying with these criteria not only contributes to Berlin's sustainability, but also enhances the feel-good atmosphere of patients, employees and visitors,’ said Sybille Mai, an expert on green hospitals at EPEA GmbH – Part of Drees & Sommer.

Charité acknowledges the special role played by the German Heart Center Berlin in the field of cardiac medicine, making it possible to establish the Charité German Heart Center.

In addition to strategic and operational co-management of the Charité German Heart Center, the German Heart Center Berlin Foundation will in future be increasingly active in the field of education and training, and in innovation, development and research as well as promoting these activities. This will enable it to fulfill all aspects of the Foundation’s purpose of promoting public health, science and research. Following operational transfer on January 1, 2023, construction of the new Charité German Heart Center building is scheduled to begin before the end of 2023. Building work is expected to be completed in early 2028, such that the first patients can be admitted by the end of 2028.