Future proof buildings – Denmark’s National Hospital 

Denmark’s National Hospital is more than 250 years old. Its story begins in 1757, when it was established as the country’s first hospital. The current 16 storey high building in the heart of Copenhagen is known as The New Rigshospital. Rambøll & Hannemann engineered the giant future-proof building which was inaugurated in 1970. 

Before World War II, hospitals were designed and built in a way where rooms performed the same purpose throughout the building's entire lifetime. But after the war, a new principle was gaining traction. New hospitals should work as specialised facilities and be able to adjust to future needs. 

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Science, medicine and new methods of treatment were rapidly evolving, and the ideal hospital was a compact block system that could accommodate all the hospital’s changing functions.  

Of special interest to Rambøll & Hannemann was the client’s ambition that a new National Hospital should be designed as a reinforced concrete structure. 

The choice of material gave numerous constructional advantages, including the avoidance of supporting partition walls, which meant that the division of rooms and the use of space could be flexible. 

Rigshospitalet was without doubt the largest single contract for Rambøll & Hannemann up to that time, and it helped consolidate the company’s position within structural engineering. 

Today, Ramboll’s more than 400 dedicated hospital experts are combining local presence in 35 countries with global experience from developing world class healthcare facilities. This enables us to recognise and address the latest trends and offer complete building engineering services, and highly specialized architectural, logistic and automation and sustainability services enabling optimal patient care, by frontloading our knowledge into the individual project.


The eternal perspective – foundation ownership 

The founder of Ramboll, Børge Rambøll and Johan Hannemann, aimed to create an eternal company. Outside investors should not be able to profit from the company, and profits should be invested back into the company's development. 

Management also considered foundation ownership as an opportunity to address the threats facing the engineering consultancy industry. The consultants feared that the industrialisation of construction processes and the new turnkey contracts could undermine the need for traditional construction consultancy. Whilst the business was not hit as hard as feared, Rambøll & Hannemann nevertheless became a limited company from 1 January 1971.  

At the same time, the company was transferred to a fund that, as a 100% owner, should first and foremost use any returns to continue the development of Rambøll & Hannemann. Thereby the foundation ownership safeguards the long-term and independent development of the company, its employees and the clients and communities we serve. 

In 1972, the Ramboll Foundation as we know it today was established. The Ramboll Foundation is an independent Danish enterprise foundation with philanthropic obligations. Besides the active ownership of the Ramboll Group, the Foundation also awards donations for: 

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  • Research and education, in particular within science and engineering 
  • Helping current and former employees and their families in difficult circumstances 
  • Supporting charities and humanitarian aid. 

In 2020, The Ramboll Foundation launched a brand-new Flemming Bligaard Award of 65,000 Euros to support early-career researchers working with sustainable solutions. The award funds are this year earmarked to a researcher working with circular economy in the built environment. 

The award is named after Flemming Bligaard Pedersen who chaired the Ramboll Foundation from 2014 to 2020 and before that was the Managing Director and Group CEO for Ramboll for twenty years from 1992 to 2012.

Learn more about the Ramboll Foundation here.