Östra Hospital – Emergency Psychiatry Ward

Östra Hospital – Emergency Psychiatry Ward

Psychiatric care may involve the opposite to what you might think. Instead of locked doors and closed wards, the best way architecture can support patients is to emphasise continuity in everyday life; getting out into a garden unescorted, or just being able to see a tree from the window.

Architecture on the inside of life

The design of Östra Hospital’s Acute Psychiatry Ward creates a free and open environment that breaks down preconceptions formed by traditional institutional environments. Evidence-based research suggests that successful care requires the gradual increase of patients’ personal space from their room, to the garden, to the wider public realm with an eventual return to life outside.



Client: Västfastigheter
Location: Göteborg, Sweden
Status: Completed 2009
Area: 18,000 sqm
Awards: Forum’s Healthcare Building Award 2007
Second place – WAN Healthcare Building of the Year Award
Visuals: Christer Hallgren

The goal was to create a free and open atmosphere, to avoid any associations with force and power.

Corridor-free ward

Östra Hospital offers patients, medical staff, relatives and visitors an opportunity to benefit from a warm environment, with careful gradations of social character – from the separate rooms to seating areas inspired by the vernacular Swedish veranda. At the core of the ward are the living room, kitchen and other communal areas grouped around a small glazed conservatory. This results in a kind of ‘corridor-free ward’, a solution offe­ring patients an opportunity to move around in ways other than through long, constrictive corridors.

Encouraging independence

The concept behind the individual rooms was to offer multiple spaces by creating rooms within the room; resting on the bed while looking out of the window, flicking through a magazine on the armchair in the reading corner, curling up in the recessed window to watch the world go by or leaving the door ajar to see the activity in the communal conservatory. This open design encourages participation while increasing the patients’ personal space, aiding them in their preparation for getting back into life outside.

Every room offers views to the world outside.

An interview on the design of new generation psychiatric facilities from the service user and the architect perspective and a conversation about the role of participatory design in increasing the therapeutic effectiveness of mental health facilities for the wider benefit of society. Stefan Lundin, partner at White Arkitekter, and service user Jan Devyr Lernbring at Östra Hospital’s Acute Psychiatry Ward.

Contact & Team

Stefan Lundin

Stefan Lundin


+46 703 11 87 55

Maria Wetter Öhman

Krister Nilsson

Stig Olsson

Ann-Marie Revellé

Jonas Häggström

Jerry Jansson

Anna Graaf

Elisabeth Rosenlund

Elisabeth Sandberg

Roger Olsson

Please share!

Related projects

All Projects