New Psychiatric Department at Aabenraa Hospital.
Supporting a patient’s feeling of safety while motivating contact with the outside world during the treatment period – this is the foundation for the planning and design of the New Psychiatric Hospital in Aabenraa. Highly Commended in the Mental Health Design category at European Healthcare Design Awards 2016.
Praised for its social and environmental sustainability, the project has a ground-breaking design which contributes to the destigmatization of psychiatric treatment. Deve Architecture and White comprise the collaborative team behind the award-winning competition entry.
Rather than designing an introverted building rooted in an outdated attitude toward mental illness, we decided to rethink the psychiatric treatment facility by providing a more open, extroverted, healing architecture; nature and the countryside are in close proximity to staff and patients. – Morten Vedelsbøl, Creative Director at White Arkitekter/Denmark
Inaugurated in 2015, the 115 bed psychiatric clinic in Aabenraa welcomes patients of all ages with an architecture that can strengthen a patient’s feeling of safety while also promoting contact with the outside world during treatment. Patients have access to gardens, terraces, exterior spaces and locations for training as well as the un-manicured nature which surrounds the clinic. From private consultations in quiet rooms to generously sized rooms for group exercise – the interior is designed to support social interaction of all forms.
The 20,000 m² facility consolidates both work place and care facility for many staff and patients in the Southern Denmark region. The building’s location and physical connection with the original somatic department at Aabenraa Hospital ensures the synergy requested by the region. The design brief called for the new psychiatric facility to have its own identity while also including common spaces for the use of both the psychiatric and somatic hospitals.
The new psychiatric hospital is composed of 7 sections situated in the “rays” of two starburst formations on a main building spine. The starting point for the spine is the main entrance shared by both the new and older somatic hospital. This spine works to connect the three communication areas as well as the entrance to the 7 new sections. Following in succession are reception, clinic, cafeteria, reception, activity room, treatment rooms, auditoriums and teaching facilities along with access to the conservatory and garden. The culmination is a sports center with a roof terrace and views of the countryside.
We did a lot of research and really listened to the customer and the developer making sure we met the program of the new building. A psychiatric hospital has to have the best environment for patients, staff and relatives but it also needs to be innovative. Our design is definitely innovative in its genre but at the same time it speaks softly to its surroundings. – Morten Vedelsbøl, along with Marketing Director, Erik Lindahl, from White
Each treatment area has a view of the beautiful green surroundings while the outdoor areas between the buildings are designed as lush courtyards and active spaces for “exterior treatment cycles”. These sections are linked functionally and visually, and are closely related and in harmony with the hilly terrain.
New Psychiatric Department at Aabenraa Hospital
- Client: Region Syddanmark
- Project Start/End: 2011-2013
- Completed: 2015
- Area/Size: 20.000 m²
- Apartments / Rooms: 115 patient rooms
- Energy Use: Low energy, solar cells
- City: Aabenraa
- Film: Region Syddanmark