Nuuk psychiatric clinic

Nuuk psychiatric clinic

Located near the main entrance of Greenland’s national hospital ‘Dronning Ingrids Hospital’, just outside the center of captial city Nuuk, the psychiatric clinic is beautifully situated facing the bay and offers spectacular views of the islands in the fiord.

Linking healing architecture with nature

The building strikes the perfect balance between a calm, healing and trustworthy atmosphere and the natural landscape and the existing hospital facilities. Echoing the materials and colours of Nuuk – where hospitals are traditionally yellow – the architecture cuts an instantly recognisable figure from both near and afar.

Client: Greenland Health Department
Location: Nuuk, Greenland
Partners: DIFK Dipl.-Ing. Florian Kosche AS & ÅF Engineering AS
Area: 3,300 sqm
Visuals: Luxigon, White Arkitekter

An open, healing and caring environment for the patients and a safe and attractive work place for the staff

A new psychiatric clinic in Nuuk

Greenland has 57,700 inhabitants of which 14, 700 live in Nuuk. On behalf of the Greenlandic Sundhedsvæsenet, a steering committee has initiated the project for a new psychiatric clinic at the hospital in Nuuk. Patients come from the city of Nuuk and from along the extensive coastline.

Creating a calm atmosphere

Daylight is abundant in all patient rooms thanks to the large windows and generous height of this part of the building. Looking out the windows, patients have views of the dramatic landscape and the fjord. The rooms are spacious and offer good internal overview of the premises to provide safe surroundings for both staff and patients. Wood is the primary material used here; apart from being a long-lasting solution, wood is proven to have a calming and stress-reducing effect.

The environmentally friendly wood construction references a Nordic materiality while providing a pleasant indoor climate and tactile qualities.

Connection to nature

Common areas are designed to connect with nature. An atrium with an open-air garden protected from the wind has an open south-west facing corner where patients can experience the landscape outside. This clear connection to the landscape combined with the daylight inlet are also of great importance for the orientation and communication in the building.

To maximise patients’ contact with nature, the entire ground floor is open to the landscape.

The building’s design interacts with the landscape and generates a topography of various terraces, platforms, gaps and other outdoor/indoor spaces.

Outdoor experiences

The courtyard and landscape create a protected, flexible outdoor space that invites to different activity; conversations with visitors, exercise in the outdoor gym or a game of table tennis. An unprogrammed garden area facing the atrium is semi-climatised and acoustically independent from the rest of the building can adapt to suit a variety of functions.

The clinic echoes the small-scale building structure of Nuuk. Not only is it a complex series of spaces and activities, but also an architectural landmark, standing out bravely in the overall context.

Changing appearance

The design of the clinic balances visual qualities of its own character with specific elements and materials inspired by the special identity of Greenland. The appearance is changing not only from different perspectives of the site, but also throughout the day and year. From a precise assemblage to a fuzzy glowing beacon, this constant change gives form to the individuality of its users, while at the same time generating a dialogue with those viewing the building from the surrounding neighbourhood.

Seven pillars for healing architecture

  1. Promote dignity!
  2. Encourage normalcy!
  3. Create a free and open atmosphere!
  4. Promote social interaction!
  5. Promote patients´ independence!
  6. Offer views to the outside and free access to the outdoor environment!
  7. Balance the demands for safe and healing health-care environment!

Healing Architecture: Evidence, Intuition, Dialogue, by Stefan Lundin

Contact & Team

Gina Bast Mossige

Gina Bast Mossige


+47 902 694 08

Gina Bast Mossige

Project Manager

Jenny Mäki

Lead Architect

Stefan Lundin

Rebekah Schaberg

Daniel Asp

Alejandro Pacheco Diéguez

Viktor Sjöberg

Susanna von Eyben

Claudia Laarmann

Kjetil Torgrimsby

Mikael Welander

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