Hjältarnas Hus House of Heroes

No child should suffer from a long-term illness alone. Hjältarnas hus – House of Heroes is a home away from home; an uplifting environment free from white coats and difficult treatments, easing the rehabilitation process for children in their most fragile state.

Environments with empathy

In the northern region of Sweden, there is a lack of temporary homes where children undergoing chronic illness can recover with the support of their relatives. The unique partnership between the Västerbotten Healthcare Council and the Hjältarnas hus organisation, a temporary home now exists for children and families to tread the road to recovery together.

Children battling cancer are heroes; aiding their recovery is a true calling of architecture.

Client: Västerbottens County Council / Föreningen Hjältarnas hus
Location: Umeå, Sweden
Status: Completed 2017
Area: 1,800 sqm
Visuals: Åke E:son Lindman

quote
When my son Sigge was sick, he had an online fundraising event that he called ‘Superhjälten Sigge - Sigge the Superhero’. He was truly a superhero, just by keeping his spirits up the entire time. I think that all kids suffering from disease are heroes when they endure things that kids should not have to endure.
Jan Andersson from Lycksele, Winner of the contest to name Hjältarnas hus.

The new children’s facility refurbishes an older existing building as well as incorporating new, purpose-built accommodation for recuperation. Originally built as a home for the hospital caretaker in 1913, the existing building sits on the corner of the hospital park. Conference rooms and administrative offices are located within this building, while the newer building contains amenity for the children. These include small apartments, or hotel-like suites, along with cooking-facilities and activity rooms. The recreational facilities of the park, complete with a duck-pond and a playground, also offers a way to make the hospital stay somewhat brighter.

The main focus of the project has been to consistently create a playful environment where young patients and their families can focus on healing.

A two-storey glass atrium links the two buildings together, creating an indoor courtyard with a tree planted in the middle. Aside from the atrium, the entire building is made out of wood. The joists between the floors are constructed from cross-laminated wooden slabs, supported by glulam beams. Façades are also clad with wood and feature Tricoya panels etched with intricate patterns. Tricoya wood composite was chosen for its exceptional aesthetic and intrinsic qualities; it is the only timber product that lasts for 50 years untreated. The roof is constructed of glulam, topped with white metal sheeting Inside walls and ceilings are clad with fir. The building is designed to achieve a Miljöbyggnad Guld environmental standard.

Contact & Team

Lennart Sjögren
Kjell Nyberg
Egil Blom
Katrin Ehnberg-Gunnarsson
Jens Lindh
Roger Edvinsson
Mattias Lind
Katharina Björlin Wiklund
Daniel Hultman