Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen (SDCC) is Northern Europe's largest hospital for prevention and treatment of diabetes.
Studies show that traditional hospital settings can make even healthy patients feel ill and weaken them physically and mentally. SDCC attempts to redefine the looks, feelings and functions of a hospital as it is draws on the science behind how architecture combined with nature can be used not only to treat, but also to prevent and educate.
Upon arrival, a lush and undulating landscape greets visitors that enter through the main entrance. Here concrete in-situ cast pavements nudge naturally towards the grand staircase that invites visitors to ascend to the public rooftop garden. The garden is a biodiversity hub open for everyone to enjoy 24 hours, seven days a week. Designed in cooperation with users, the hospital incorporates warm materials, strategic flows and daylight. It is organised around a large two-storey garden with six smaller lush courtyards, with a public rooftop garden. The anodised aluminium façade frame has large glass sections that break the boundary between indoor and outdoor.
Research shows that nature has positive effects on both mental and physical well-being. Thus, the omnipresence of nature is a key architectural grip at SDCC serving as an integrated part of the treatment and the promotion of a healthy lifestyle.
The building and the garden landscapes are closely interwoven in a biophilic design, creating a symbiosis between inside and out.
Another key design feature of the hospital is the function of common areas. They have all been designed with the purpose to convert waiting time to active time and supporting a natural flow of activities around the themes of diet, exercise, and new knowledge.
Warm wooden floors and ceilings serve as primary interior material as studies show that wooden interior reduces stress. The green spaces represent a biodiversity-hub with a varied vegetation providing a calm and educational space.
SDCC is embedded into the geometrical context of the Herlev Hospital grounds of the capital region of Denmark, providing an easily accessible point of arrival with an underground car park.
SDCC is designed equally by Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects and Mikkelsen Arkitekter with STED as landscape architect.