Aabenraa Hospital

Aabenraa Hospital

Architecture can play a significant role for patients’ wellbeing during treatment for mental illness. The critically acclaimed design of Aabenraa’s psychiatric department uses nature, daylight and varied spatial sequences to support patients, staff and visitors.

Healing architecture

The 115 bed psychiatric clinic in Aabenraa welcomes patients of all ages with architecture that promotes contact with the outside world. Through an unconventional planning of programme and a ground-breaking design, Aabenraa contributes to the de-stigmatisation of psychiatric treatment.

Client: Region Syddanmark
Location: Aabenraa, Denmark
Status: Completed 2015
Area: 20,000 sqm
Cost: 436 million DKK
Awards: Arkitekturprisen 2016 af Aabenraa Kommune; European Healthcare Design Awards 2016, highly commended; Hospital and Infirmary MIPIM Award finalist; Design and Health International Academy Award in the category ‘Mental Health Project’ 2017
Visuals: Region Syddanmark, Adam Mørk

Plenty of daylight, music rooms, access to outdoor gardens and a connection with the surrounding landscape were key considerations in the design.

Calm environments

Rethinking the psychiatric treatment facility has led to an architecture that speaks as softly to its countryside surroundings as it does to its patients. Interior and exterior spaces support social interaction in all stages of treatment; ranging from consultations in quiet rooms to generously sized spaces for group exercise. Patients can move around the building freely and the department provides safe and calm environments to support treatment, for patients and staff.

The new psychiatric hospital is composed of seven sections situated in the ‘rays’ of two starburst formations on a main building spine. 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.

Open and light

Operational sections are linked functionally and visually, and are closely related and in harmony with the hilly terrain. Rather than being closed to the outside world, the building opens up to its surroundings, encouraging patients’ contact with the outside world during treatment.

Environmental initiatives are in complete harmony with the interior. Daylight takes priority and artificial light sources are chosen for aesthetics as well as energy-efficiency. Natural green walls provide a soothing organic environment, while also creating a peaceful, serene atmosphere by absorbing noise.

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