A Place for Recovery

“Research shows that architecture has the potential to have a positive influence on people’s health. The key to this is designing at a human scale and creating a well-tempered physical environment with a homely atmosphere.”

Getting cancer is like embarking on a journey, you don’t know where will end. It requires strength to cope with the disease and take on the new identity as a cancer patient. Research shows that architecture can have a positive effect on people’s recovery from sickness. A human scale and a welcoming atmosphere can help people to get better. Despite of this, most hospitals are hardly comfy. Just finding the way from the reception to the canteen can be difficult. If we want people to get better at our hospitals, we need to deinstitutionalize and create a welcoming healthcare. The Healthcare Centre for Cancer Patients designed by Nord Architects Copenhagen does just that.

Design concepts
The Healthcare Center for Cancer Patients in Copenhagen is conceived as an iconic building, which create awareness of cancer without stigmatizing the patients. Designed as a number of small houses combined into one, the center provides the space needed for a modern health facility, without losing the comforting scale of the individual. The houses are connected by raised roof shaped like a Japanese paper art origami, which gives the building a characteristic signature.

Entering the building you find yourself in a comfy lounge area manned by volunteers. From here you move onto the others parts of the house, which includes a courtyard for contemplation, spaces for exercises, a common kitchen where you can learn to cook healthy food, meeting rooms for patients groups etc.

The building is situated close to the city centre of Copenhagen in the same area as Copenhagen University Hospital (Rigshospitalet), so that patients can go to the healthcare center after their treatment at the hospital. On the other side of the road is the Panum Institute of Medicine.

Municipality of Copenhagen


Engineer: Wessberg
Client Advisor: Moe & Brødsgaard

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