snøhetta designs outdoor care retreats for norway’s largest hospitals

Loading...

snøhetta has built a pair of secluded wooden shelters a short walking distance from two of norway’s largest hospitals. the structures, which have been designed to make hospitalization easier for patients and their families, can be used for treatment and contemplation, and for spending time with relatives and friends away from the hospital corridors. the cabins are open to every patient connected to the hospitals regardless of their condition, and reservations are managed through a booking system.

snohetta outdoor care retreats
all images © ivar kvaal

 

 

designed by snøhetta on behalf of the friluftssykehuset foundation, the outdoor care retreats offer visitors a physical and psychological respite from stringent treatment regiments and the isolation that often follows long-term hospitalization. ‘nature provides spontaneous joy and helps patients relax,’ states children’s psychologist maren østvold lindheim at the oslo university hospital, one of the initiators of the project. ‘being in natural surroundings brings them a renewed calm that they can bring back with them into the hospital. in this sense, the outdoor care retreat helps motivate patients to get through treatment and contribute to better disease management.’

snohetta outdoor care retreats

 

 

leaning towards the lush forest and the sognsvann creek, the first building is located only a hundred meters from the entrance of norway’s largest hospital, oslo university hospital, rikshospitalet. its sister building (pictured here) is situated in the deciduous woodland by sørlandet hospital kristiansand in the south of norway, between oak trees and birch, overlooking a nearby pond. the project was originally developed in collaboration with the department of psychosomatics and CL-child psychiatry at oslo university hospital.

snohetta outdoor care retreats

 

 

referencing the playful construction of wooden tree cabins typically made by children, the subdued 35-square-meter spaces stand in stark contrast to the monumental hospital buildings that they are affiliated with. the luminous cabins are formed like skewed blocks of wood that extend into the landscape through asymmetrical branches. the cabins will turn gray over time, blending naturally into the surroundings.

snohetta outdoor care retreats

 

 

the cabins are accessible for wheelchair users and the angled entrance of black zinc is large enough to make room even for hospital beds. the shelters consist of a main room, a smaller room for conversation and treatment, and a bathroom. inside the oak-lined space, colorful, sculpted pillows can be moved around freely, allowing children to build huts or lie down to gaze at the canopies through the circular window of the ceiling of the main room. additionally, the cabin’s large glass windows can be fully opened, inviting nature into the space.

snohetta outdoor care retreats

 

 

the cabins are donated as a gift by the friluftssykehuset foundation to the hospitals. the project has received funding from private and public supporters, including sparebankstiftelsen DNB, gjensidigestiftelsen, bergesennstiftelsen, the children’s foundation OUH and the norwegian parliament. in addition, a number of suppliers sponsored the first cabins with building materials, among others kvadrat, kebony, and lindal gruppen. the team plans to build more outdoor care retreats in close proximity to hospitals in norway and abroad.

snohetta outdoor care retreats

snohetta outdoor care retreats

snohetta outdoor care retreats

snohetta outdoor care retreats

 

 

project info:

 

name: outdoor care retreat
initiated by: friluftssykehuset foundation
architect: snøhetta
developed in collaboration with: department of psychosomatics and CL-child psychiatry at oslo university hospital

philip stevens I designboom

jan 07, 2019