COPENHAGEN – ‘Create a healthcare centre that is more like a home and less like a hospital.’
This was the commission given to the architects from Danish bureau Nord by the City of Copenhagen for the design of accommodation for cancer patients. Medical treatment is provided at a nearby hospital, but the patients can visit the new centre for information, contemplation, meetings and activities like cooking classes.
‘We designed a number of small houses connected by a raised roof, shaped like the Japanese paper art of origami,’ says Morten Rask Gregersen from Nord. This has given the 2500-sq-m centre a human dimension. The building avoids resembling an institutional and has, for instance, no reception: visitors are received in a lounge-style entrance area managed by volunteers.
The idea is that the iconic building ‘creates awareness of cancer without stigmatizing the patients.’ But perhaps the greatest merit of the architecture is that it allows a community feeling to be created. The centre is like a small village of like-minded people, sharing an experience and working to recover together.
Photos courtesy of Adam Mørk