A Hospital Design That Helps Heal

Copenhagen cancer center

Architecture obviously can't cure patients—but it's naive to think that good design can't at least aid in well-being. And well-being, surely, is the start point in restoring anyone's health. That simple insight helped NORD Architects win the competition to design a new cancer center in Copenhagen.

NORD's design is meant to counteract the faceless institutionality that plagues hospital design. Instead of huge, monolithic building, their project suggests something more like a village or a neighborhood. The building is low-slung, and it's roof-line suggests a cluster of small homes; in fact, the various wings themselves are organized to feel like residences, joined via courtyards, themed gardens, and public spaces:

Copenhagen cancer center

Others have tried similar approaches, and in fact, NORD's design was based on Maggie's Centers, a British chain of cancer treatment centers which aims to counsel cancer patients in as homey an environment as possible.

A groundbreaking doesn't appear to have been set yet, but the city of Copenhagen has laid out a budget of $8 million for the project.

For more examples of architecture designed for the social good, check out this retirement home, designed to help seniors explore its grounds, and this housing complex, designed to integrate battered women into daily life.

[Via Arch Daily and Bustler]

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  • Radon Mitigation

    Oh! of course pleasant surroundings assist in the well-being for some. A lot will depend on the patients own expectations and personal motivators, as beautiful surroundings will be a aphrodisiac for some and mental anguish for others. We all present with different standards and expectations when it comes to being safe, pleasantly comfortable in our surroundings and what we term beautiful.

    I am one who would relish the idea of beautiful surroundings that are architecturally considered with a balance of colors of the rainbow and design features;whereas, my associate would feel stifled and almost uncomfortable in designer and contrived settings.