COPENHAGEN – The ‘warm and protecting atmosphere’ of Nord Architects’ Urban Hospice is intended to fit inconspicuously into the densely-packed residential area of Frederiksberg – a technically-independent municipality located to the west of the Danish capital. Despite the metallic cladding, the project integrates into the context of its surroundings, particularly with regards to scale. The façade – a brass alloy – reveals a ‘very warm and golden tone that makes very good sense for the calm, cosy and homely atmosphere in the hospice,’ comment studio partner Morten Gregersen.
‘We didn’t want to disturb things visually by putting an odd, huge building on the site,’ Gregersen continues. ‘At the outset, the volumes were derived from the surrounding villas and then adapted to the flow of the hospice and the care-taking core function of the place.’ Perfect curves are carved out from the cubic elevations to create a smooth a more calming architectural language and embrace the smooth flow of the interior layout. A private inner courtyard completes the tranquil environment at the building’s core.
Titled by the architect as ‘A good place to die’ – a phrase coined by a Danish architecture critic who wrote about the building – Gregersen expands: ‘We used it to state that this is a place that you and your family choose for a meaningful farewell; that gives relief for the dying person and time for ending relationships and perhaps starting new ones with other people you meet there.’ Death is a natural part of life and, in that respect, the hospice is intended to integrate seamlessly as part of the city.
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