The new helipad built above the main entrance of the University Hospital in Aachen, Germany, has developed a nickname: The Hand of God. The proposed landing site, located above the square in front of the hospital complex, was designed by OX2architekten of Aachen to suggest a raised, open palm. The helipad’s function should be even more impressive than its form; OX2’s design will reduce transit time from helicopter to trauma room by 45 percent, which may mean life or death to a critically ill or injured person. Two helicopters can land at once, and the choppers can take off for the next rescue two minutes after delivering an emergency patient. People being transported by ambulance or vehicle will also cut transit time to the E.R.
The structure will have a steel frame, an aluminum roof with a stamped-in skid-proof surface and an external structure of glass-reinforced PTFE membrane held with steel cables and stays. It will be lightweight, fire-resistant, corrosion-resistant and compiled of pre-fabricated pieces. “Our design is not futuristic,” says Ina-Marie Orawlec, OX2 partner. “It is what is possible today.”