Cancer Counseling Center by EFFEKT

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Cancer Counseling Center

Project: Cancer Counseling Center
Designed by EFFEKT
Collaboration: Hoffmann and Lyngkilde
Location: Denmark
Website: www.effekt.dk
Danish practice EFFEKT shares with us their winning proposal design for Cancer Counseling Center created in collaboration with Hoffmann and Lyngkilde. The architects have divided the project into seven small houses forming a coherent sequence, construction is scheduled for August 2012. 

For more images and architects description continue after the jump:

From the Architects:

Livsrum is EFFEKTs 1. prize project in the competition for a new cancer counseling centre at Næstved hospital in Denmark in collaboration with Hoffmann and Lyngkilde. The centre is designed as a cluster of seven small houses around two green outdoor spaces. Each house has its own specific function and together they form a coherent sequence of different spaces and functions such as a library, kitchen, conversation rooms, lounge, shops, gym, and wellness facilities. The house offers a wide range of different rooms for informal advice, therapy and interaction with a focus on the users' comfort and wellbeing. A varying roof height and materials used means that the building will have its own unique architectural character that clearly distinguishes it from the surrounding hospital buildings. With the location of the cancer counseling centre close to the hospital's cancer ward, it is set for a closer collaboration between hospital staff and the Danish Cancer Society. 

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Construction is scheduled to begin in August 2012. Already in the spring of 2013 the Danish Cancer Society staff and volunteers in Næstved expects to offer cancer patients and caregivers a warm welcome in the new cancer counseling centre.

Leif Vestergaard Pedersen, CEO of the Danish Cancer Society is excited about the new project, which architecturally has managed to strike a tone in which wellbeing and openness is at play.
"The house will feel homely and comfortable and provide room for all forms of activities. The centre will be located quite close to the hospital, this will make it easy for cancer patients and their relatives to come by for a cup of coffee and maybe a talk between treatments “says Leif Vestergaard Pedersen.

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Hans Peter Svendler, director of Realdania explains,
"The winning project shows a very compelling vision of how a counseling centre can be arranged and we look forward to seeing the finished house."

Excerpts 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.”.

Cancer Counseling Center

The simple but carefully laid out plan shows interlocking rooms that wrap around two central courtyards. The entire effect is calm and reflects the sensitive design of the ideas of healing architecture.

Livsrum can be seen as redesign of a standard hospital environment. The residential scale buildings focus on the beneficial qualities of light, open spaces, privacy, and views of and access to outdoors. Although the buildings are designed by the ambitious architects at EFFEKT, the focus is on making nurturing spaces, not making huge design statements.

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Healing architecture. The Livsrum Centres are inspired by the Maggie’s Centres that are based on the belief that architecture can make people feel better and that innovative spaces can inspire. The Centres were founded by architect Maggie Keswick Jencks, who had firsthand experience of the depressing if not depleting qualities of typical treatment facilities, and her husband, architectural theorist Charles Jencks. Maggie Jencks died from cancer in 1995 and left a legacy of innovative buildings that offer places for patients to feel cared for and at ease. Charles Jenck’s book, The Architecture of Hope, presents his case for the impacts of architecture on healing.

These principles of healing architecture have been fundamental in the design of the project.

The concept represents the vision that architecture affects human well-being, and that the architecture can therefore help to strengthen or promote the healing process in individuals.

The basic idea is not that architecture alone can heal, but that the architectural design in terms of daylight quality, the room's mood, color, sound and the ability to be private and secure to support the healing that takes place both physically and psychologically.

We have throughout the project worked on this idea and specifically incorporated the following qualities: 

– A homely and safe house at all levels
– Lot’s of daylight
– Integration of outdoor areas both visually and recreationally
– Easy and clear orientation in the house
– Good acoustics in relation to both materials and layout
– Ensure both spatial coherence and a clear plan layout
– Use natural materials
– Ensure that the house evoke both curiosity and simultaneously creates trust
– Ensure variation so that users can choose rooms to suit their individual needs 

These qualities are integrated in relation to the overall concept, the actual layout of the plan and in selecting the right materials, furnishings and decor.

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Diagram 1. In the middle of a residential neighborhood

The plot is situated both as part of an old residential neighborhood and also part of the hospital grounds. How can we best create a house that links in the most natural way with the residential neighborhood?

Cancer Counseling Center

Diagram 2. Protected outdoor spaces

The plot is surrounded by roads – the noisy Ringstedgade on one side and Herluf Vænge on the other side. By placing the atria in the center it is protected against noise and becomes integrated into the house.

Cancer Counseling Center

Diagram3. Livsrum, the heart of the house

The large communal 'Living Space' is the heart of the house and forms a natural center with a simple and straightforward layout and consistency with the other functions of the building.

Cancer Counseling Center

Diagram 4. The villa houses

Together, the 7 houses combined, creates one open house plan with many niches and nooks with many possibilities of use. At the same time, each one of the 7 houses can be seen and perceived as individual buildings both from the inside and the outside. 

Cancer Counseling Center

Diagram 5. Green experiences

All rooms face the 2 central atria and by so all outdoor and indoor areas are connected both visually and physically.

Cancer Counseling Center

Diagram Rooms. An open plan with niches and nooks

The requirement to have both openness and privacy in the house could be seen as opposites. We have chosen to use both qualities as guides to the design of the schematics of the housing organization.
The house is organized as a series of pockets or nooks that side by side forms a plan in an open context. The individual pockets can closed of with sliding doors. That makes a highly flexible plan of either a series of private and closed rooms or if all doors are open the house is conceived as one big room.