‘Livsrum’ Counseling Centre is designed as a transparent and free-flowing building that comprises a range of different programmatic and spatial experiences. This allows for a high level of social interaction amongst visitors, caregivers, and counselors while also respecting the need for privacy and autonomy required within a hospital environment.
The building, located between the hospital area and an old villa neighborhood, is flanked on each of its longest sides by high-traffic streets. The main challenge, therefore, was to negotiate quiet and calm spaces within the boisterous context. EFFEKT’s solution, the office responsible for the realization of the project, was to arrange the facility as a small village of seven houses, framing at its center two green courtyards. This serves the project in two ways. Rather than designing the facility as one large structure, EFFEKT planned a series of domestic-scale buildings with gabled roof profiles blending the facility to its context while also forming a sound-free recreational and meditative space at its core.
"The varying roof heights in conjunction with a precise selection of materials equipped the building with its own unique architectural character and typology; clearly distinguishing it from the surrounding hospital buildings," said the architects.
In terms of material, the facility incorporates two types. White fiber-cement boards clad most of the exterior surfaces of the building in horizontal striations. The residual gables, which include the surfaces on the interior courtyard and the gable marking the entrance to the facility, are strategically clad in vertically oriented timber boards to allow for greater sensory interaction between the guests and the facade.
The building won first prize in a competition organized by the Danish Cancer Society in collaboration with Realdania and provides a centre where anyone affected by cancer can find out more about the illness and receive counseling. It is located close to the hospital's cancer ward, providing easy access for patients and family members.
Each house-shaped building provides a different function. This includes a library, a kitchen, private meeting rooms, a lounge, a shop, a gym, and a healthcare facility.
"The houses offer a wide range of rooms for informal advice, therapy, and interaction with a focus on the user's comfort and wellbeing," explained the architects.
Two courtyards are positioned between the buildings and feature paved areas that are peppered with garden furniture.
Bookshelves cover entire walls, integrating small window seats, while a mixture of homelike furnishings feature throughout the internal spaces of the facility.
Hans Peter Svendler, director of Realdania explains, "The winning project shows a very compelling vision of how a counseling center can be arranged and we look forward to seeing the finished house."
Experts from the jury’s report read: "It's a compelling simple and logical plan composition with fine spatial experiences in the movement around the inner courtyards and the centre’s in-house facilities.”.